Pledges and donations from countries around the world are on track to surpass the UN appeal to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

At a conference held on Monday in Geneva and attended by Arab News, the UN called on the international community to donate $606 million in a “flash appeal” to help Afghans with urgent economic and financial assistance to offset the dire humanitarian situation in the country, in the aftermath of the Taliban taking control last month.

the UN asked the international community to donate generously to help around 18 million people in Afghanistan, and Afghan refugees in neighboring countries, to find food, shelter and medicine.

Representatives of European countries, Japan, Australia and the US pledged several hundred million dollars in immediate cash donations.

Other countries in the Middle East pledged to help the UN facilitate its work in Afghanistan and donate humanitarian supplies, medicine and foodstuffs. Qatar and the UAE pledged $50 million each in addition to other humanitarian donations.

Pakistan’s foreign minister emphasized his country’s readiness to provide logistics and aid to the UN mission, while referring to Pakistan’s historic role in sheltering 3 million Afghan refugees still in the country today.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the event with an appeal to step up efforts to help the poor, girls and women, who represent the most vulnerable segments of Afghan society.

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