Guterres Urges the World to Inject Liquidity into the Afghan Economy to Avoid Collapse

UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the world “to take action and inject liquidity into the Afghan economy to avoid collapse” and to “create the conditions that would allow Afghan professionals and civil servants to continue working to serve the Afghan population.”

Speaking to journalists at UN Headquarters, the Secretary-General said “clearly, the main responsibility for finding a way back from the abyss lies with those that are now in charge in Afghanistan.”

He said he was “particularly alarmed to see promises made to Afghan women and girls by the Taliban being broken” adding that “broken promises lead to broken dreams for the women and girls of Afghanistan.”

Guterres warned that “if we do not act and help Afghans weather this storm, and do it soon, not only they but all the world will pay a heavy price,” adding “without food, without jobs, without their rights protected, we will see more and more Afghans fleeing their homes in search of a better life. The flow of illicit drugs, criminal and terrorist networks will also likely increase.”

He told journalists “the Afghan people cannot suffer a collective punishment because the Taliban misbehave” and noted that “the UN is in Afghanistan to deliver humanitarian aid, and to deliver humanitarian aid to the people in need, and what we ask is unhindered access everywhere, and we ask is for women and men to be able to deliver humanitarian aid in the same circumstances.”

The Secretary-General described efforts to engage the Taliban and reach agreements for allowing women to participate in the delivery of aid, province by province. He said “this is daily work, area by area, fighting for the rights of each woman, sometimes one by one. But this is our engagement to our staff and to the women and girls in Afghanistan in general.”

Asked about parliamentary elections in Iraq, Guterres said “my appeal is for the people of Iraq now to be calm, to wait for the results as they are proclaimed by the relevant entities, and to be prepared for a process of political dialogue, as it is normal, after an election takes place, for the formation of the government with different political parties negotiating among themselves and in an environment that we want to be an environment of peace, of security, and of tranquility.”

 

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