European Union Delegation to Singapore

EU’s humanitarian chief visits Afghanistan: Protection of civilians in conflict and respect of International Humanitarian Law cannot wait for a cease-fire

Kabul, 04/02/2021 - 05:26, UNIQUE ID: 210204_1
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In a visit in Kabul, Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner responsible for crisis management and humanitarian aid, reiterated the European Union’s call for an immediate cease-fire and respect of International Humanitarian Law by all parties.

“The human cost of the conflict in Afghanistan is profound, with the civilian population suffering the most. My message here today is very clear; the protection of civilians is a cornerstone of international humanitarian law and must be respected by all parties. The EU reiterate its call for an immediate cease-fire.” – Janez Lenarčič

Taking stock of the political and humanitarian situation in meetings with H.E President Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Commissioner Lenarčič reaffirmed the EU’s strong support for the peace process, emphasized the need for political unity and compromise on all sides and the importance of NGOs for the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance in Afghanistan.

The Commissioner also met with humanitarian agencies, female civil society representatives and the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General.     

“My discussions here today confirm the dire humanitarian situation that a large part of the civilian population face every single day. The EU has been among the most generous humanitarian donors to Afghanistan. In the last two years the EU allocated €100 million in humanitarian aid, in 2021 our initial support amounts to 32 million euros. To meet the needs and reach the most vulnerable, we operate in partnership and coordination with NGOs and UN agencies in strict compliance with our humanitarian principles.” – Janez Lenarčič


Fact box: EU humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan

The European Union has since 1994 provided humanitarian aid in Afghanistan amounting to more than 1 billion euros. In the light of the conflict and the humanitarian needs, the EU’s priority is to provide life-saving assistance. In 2020, the EU allocated close to €70 million in humanitarian support to ensure critical relief assistance to the most vulnerable including the victims of war, forced displacement and natural disasters. Interventions focus on providing emergency healthcare, shelter, food assistance, access to clean water and sanitation facilities, as well as various protection services targeting women and children. A large portion of 2020’s funding was also dedicated to addressing the health emergency posed by the ongoing pandemic. The EU response to COVID-19 in Afghanistan amounts to almost 147 million euros, including development and humanitarian assistance.


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