World Vision wants Australian government to play key role in aid to Afghans

By Tom Ravlic

September 10, 2021

World Vision's Daniel Wordsworth says the Australian government was is positioned to argue for humanitarian access.
World Vision’s Daniel Wordsworth says the Australian government was is positioned to argue for humanitarian access. (AAP Image/Supplied by World Vison)

World Vision Australia is calling on the federal government to play a key role in helping get aid through to people in Afghanistan.

Daniel Wordsworth, the chief executive officer of World Vision, said the Australian government was in a position to argue for humanitarian access so that the people of Afghanistan could get access to the help they need while their country is in the grip of drought and the coronavirus pandemic.

Aid work by World Vision had been suspended for a period of time following the Taliban’s recent blitzkrieg across Afghanistan that resulted in them taking control of government in that country.

World Vision has restarted limited but urgent aid work in the past week in Herat and Ghor with six mobile health and nutrition clinics and its chief executive officer observed that more than 13 million people are gripped by hunger.

Wordsworth also said that one in two children under five faced acute malnutrition this year and that “this is unacceptable”.

He called on the federal government to increase aid funding to Afghanistan as well as to argue for a removal of any barriers that limit the flow of aid needed by the people of Afghanistan at an international summit to be convened by the United Nations.

“The Australian Government can use its voice at the conference to help reduce barriers to humanitarian access and ensure a commitment to flexible and sustained funding,” he said.

“World Vision knows that the government, and the foreign minister personally, remain strongly committed to Afghanistan and addressing the humanitarian crisis in the country.”

Wordsworth said that there was a need for the international community to maintain its involvement in Afghanistan to ensure the country.

“The international community has made a massive investment in Afghanistan over the past 20 years – and it’s borne fruit. Those gains will be lost if we pull the plug,” Wordsworth said.

“It’s a complex situation but there is one simple truth – now more than ever, Afghan children and their families need our support. Withholding aid is simply not an option.”


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