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Security Council says Taliban misrule causing Afghan humanitarian crisis

Security Council says Taliban misrule causing Afghan humanitarian crisis

Gravely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, members of the Security Council today said that the Taliban's misrule is the underlying cause of the country's dire circumstances.

Speaking to reporters following closed-door consultations, the Council's current President, Ambassador Patricia Durrant of Jamaica, said the members had "deplored the looting of UN offices, and the Taliban's takeover of humanitarian relief sites, including food and supply warehouses."

Noting that the UN and its agencies were the main providers of humanitarian relief inside Afghanistan, Council members called on the Taliban not to impede the aid effort, she said. The members commended the humanitarian agencies and their staff, while emphasizing the importance of the safety and security of local and international humanitarian workers.

Council members urged relief personnel to continue to do all possible to assist the most vulnerable people of Afghanistan, particularly women, children and the elderly, and "stressed the need to continue to find innovative ways of delivering much-needed supplies to the region and distributing aid to those in need," said the President.

Members urged the international community to continue its financial support for relief efforts, and appealed for the quick disbursement of funds that have already been pledged, she added.

Concerning the regional picture, Council members expressed appreciation to the Governments of Afghanistan's neighbours, which have agreed to open access routes for the delivery of relief supplies. The members also expressed support for the efforts of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, who is now holding consultations with officials of several countries of the region.