Denmark is the first to finance the UN’s humanitarian air bridge to Afghanistan

The takeover of the Taliban has disrupted international emergency supply routes for Afghans in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

Flights are suspended and borders blocked, but the UN is fighting to keep a travel corridor open for NGOs, aid workers and aid to supply Afghanistan’s hard-to-reach areas.

Deep uncertainty
“The situation in Afghanistan is deeply worrying. “Humanitarian groups on the ground have made it clear that they want to maintain a presence in the country, but the Taliban’s takeover has created deep uncertainty about the conditions for emergency aid,” explained Development Minister Flemming Møller Mortensen.

On August 30, the UN Food Program issued an emergency call for $ 189 million to continue air operations in Afghanistan.

Denmark was the first country to respond with a donation of 20 million kroner – about 10 percent of the total appeal.

18.4 million Afghans already need help
The timing is crucial: even before the Taliban seized power, almost half of the population needed humanitarian aid due to drought, the corona pandemic, internal repression and conflict.

As winter approaches and brings average low temperatures well below freezing, the situation is expected to worsen.

“The UN’s flight program is urgent and incredibly important. We must help ensure access to aid and improve the safety of the many dedicated relief workers in Afghanistan, ”said Mortensen.

The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is operated by the World Food Program and transports relief workers and carries out evacuations to 15 destinations in Afghanistan.

A quarter of a billion kroner donated

On 17 August, Denmark made an earlier donation of DKK 100 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Humanitarian Fund and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

So far, Denmark’s humanitarian aid to the Afghanistan crisis amounts to DKK 260 million.

“Action saves lives. Denmark has today shown the way as the first country to step in to help the World Food Program, ”said David Beasley, head of the World Food Program.

“The Danish contribution will support the entire humanitarian community and enable about 160 humanitarian organizations to continue their life-saving work.”

Source: The Nordic Page


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