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UN launches crisis trust fund to provide money directly to Afghans

girl holds seals left after a bomb blast during Friday prayers at Shia Muslims' Mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan on October 17, 2021 [Bilal Güler / Anadolu Agency]
girl holds seals left after a bomb blast during Friday prayers at Shia Muslims' Mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan on October 17, 2021 [Bilal Güler / Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations said Thursday it has launched a crisis trust fund to provide money directly to Afghans to prevent a humanitarian crisis and the breakdown of the economy following the Taliban's takeover this August, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The UN Development Program (UNDP) launched a new crisis response initiative as part of an overall response to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and the breakdown of the country's economy.

"The country needs immediate humanitarian assistance, but we also need to keep the local economies going," UNDP administrator, Achim Steiner, told a UN press conference in Geneva.

"This is fundamental to ensure that people still have livelihoods and feel that they have a future in their communities."

According to the UNDP, all assistance provided will be delivered to Afghans directly, based on impartial assessments carried out with local community leaders and independently of Taliban authorities.

The program will make its input by supporting the most vulnerable populations and collapsing micro-businesses in Afghanistan.

Steiner said the initiative would channel funding into community activities and provide grants to support small and micro businesses, especially those owned by women.

It supports cash-for-work projects, offering short-term income to the unemployed to restore small local infrastructure, said the UNDP.

The UNDP aims to support people with disabilities, the elderly and the most vulnerable through temporary basic income.

The scheme will assist in strengthening natural disaster alleviation and resilience, such as through the rehabilitation of canals and flood protection to protect farmlands.

On Sunday, Turkey and the new administration in Afghanistan held their first high-level contact since the Taliban took power on 15 August.

​​​​​​​The Taliban captured Kabul as the president and other top officials fled the country. They formed an interim government headed by Hasan Akhund.

World powers have called on the group to form an inclusive government representing the country's ethnic diversity.

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