London, Sep 3 (MNN) The UK will release up to 30 million pounds of life-saving aid to Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to help those who choose to leave Afghanistan as part of the government’s efforts to support regional stability.
Ten million pounds will be made available immediately to humanitarian partners, such as the UNHCR, to enable essential supplies such as shelters to be despatched to the Afghan borders as well as setting up sanitation and hygiene facilities, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said on Friday.
A further 20 million pounds will be allocated to countries that experience a significant increase in refugees to support reception and registration facilities and provide essential services and supplies.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “It is vital that we help those fleeing Afghanistan and do not allow the crisis there to undermine regional stability.
“That’s why these life-saving supplies are so important. They will provide Afghans who have left everything behind with essential kit offering shelter and basic sanitation as they seek to pick up the pieces of their lives.
“This aid demonstrates the UK’s commitment to shoulder our humanitarian responsibility and support those countries who will face the greatest demands for those displaced.”
This is the first tranche of the additional funding, announced by the Prime Minister in response to the crisis when he doubled the UK’s aid contribution to Afghanistan to 286 million pounds this year.
The security and political instability in Afghanistan has compounded an already dire humanitarian situation for the Afghan population with 5,50,000 people displaced within Afghanistan since the start of the year and significant increases in refugees moving across Afghanistan’s borders in recent weeks.
The UNHCR estimates a worst case scenario of over 5,00,000 refugees fleeing the country to Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in the coming months.
The disbursement of aid comes as the Foreign Secretary continues his visit to the region for talks on Afghanistan with the focus on securing safe passage for UK nationals and eligible Afghans as well as the government’s 4 international priorities – preventing Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorists; responding to the humanitarian plight; safeguarding regional stability; and holding the Taliban to account on human rights.