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UN official: Taliban leaders understand the importance the international community attaches to women

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said the new Taliban leaders understand the importance the international community attaches to upholding women's rights, and the need to provide guarantees that enable aid agencies to operate in Afghanistan.

Griffiths expressed hope, according to the United Nations Media Center, today, Sunday, to receive written assurances from Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Baradar, by tomorrow, that aid agencies and their partners will be able to operate freely inside Afghanistan and to have full control over the management of their operations.

The UN official indicated that a large conference will be held tomorrow, Monday, to collect donations with the aim of helping Afghanistan, and obtaining more than 600 million dollars to support about 11 million people, until the end of the year.

He added that the appeal represents an opportunity to present the urgent needs of Afghans to Member States to announce their pledges, in partnership with the United Nations, in order to meet those needs.

Griffiths explained that he raised two main issues, during his meeting with the Taliban leadership, on his recent visit to Kabul, which he went to at the request of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.. The first issue is the rights of women and girls in work, education and freedom of movement; These are basic expectations demanded by peaceful protesters, in demonstrations that erupted across Afghanistan, in which participants were beaten and flogged, according to the United Nations human rights office.

He noted that he had spoken with Taliban leaders about the conditions necessary for the work of humanitarian agencies, and discussed these issues, at length, with Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Baradar and his advisors, including the safety and security of humanitarian workers, and the freedom of humanitarian agencies to hire as many men or women as they wished. Women and ensuring that humanitarian operations will be independent and under the control of the agencies themselves.

The UN official highlighted the dire situation in which millions of Afghans are currently living, noting that half of children under the age of five are believed to be at risk of acute malnutrition.