The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, announced yesterday that Spain will allocate a contribution of 20 million euros for humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees, of which at least seven million euros will be implemented this year.
The Minister made this announcement during his speech at the International Donors’ Conference on Afghanistan, convened by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and held by videoconference from Geneva.
The Spanish contribution is in response to the 510 million euros requested by the United Nations from the international community to meet the needs in Afghanistan over the next four months. Nearly 20 million Afghans currently depend on foreign aid to survive. In addition, the renewed fighting that ended with the Taliban’s military victory in Kabul has generated more than 570,000 internally displaced persons, a number that could rise to 750,000 this year. The international conference yesterday managed to raise more than $1 billion, an amount that, according to Guterres, “fully meets expectations in terms of solidarity with the people of Afghanistan”. The European Union has pledged to donate 200 million euros for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan by 2021.
During his speech at the conference, Albares stressed Spain’s commitment to the Afghan people and the need to provide urgent assistance “to avoid the drama of a humanitarian crisis of major proportions”. He also paid tribute to the people assisting the displaced and the victims in the Afghan crisis and, in particular, to those who have lost their lives in this effort. “It is essential to ensure that humanitarian actors can carry out their work in safety,” he warned.
Of the many areas that require Spain’s attention, Albares highlighted the situation of the 2.2 million refugees that neighboring countries have received, including Pakistan, a country he visited last Friday accompanied by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs, Ángeles Moreno Bau, and where he was received by the Prime Minister, Imran Khan; his counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi; and the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Besides, the minister assured that Spain’s priorities include the education of more than 2.5 million children and attention to the most vulnerable groups, including Afghan women and girls. “We are not going to turn our backs on this crisis,” said the minister in the final part of his speech, in which he addressed the Afghan people to assure them that Spain will continue to work “so that the many years invested in creating a better future for the country have not been in vain.”