GENEVA / AFGHANISTAN GRIFFITHS INTERVIEW

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10-Sep-2021 00:02:18
UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said the launch of a flash appeal for Afghanistan on Monday is an “opportunity” to describe the needs of the Afghan people to members states and for them to “pledge a partnership with us to meet those needs in very difficult circumstances.” UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / AFGHANISTAN GRIFFITHS INTERVIEW
TRT: 2:18
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 SEPTEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

10 SEPTEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, Griffiths being interviewed
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“The Monday launch of the flash appeal is an opportunity for us to describe to member states our needs, the needs of the people of Afghanistan, and for them to pledge a partnership with us to meet those needs in very difficult circumstances.”
4. Med shot, interviewer
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“What they said to me was that we promised that the rights of women and girls will be respected subject, they added, to the religion and culture of Afghanistan. Now, this is a work in progress, and we've been here before. And so, we need to have a lot more discussion in the days to come, in the weeks to come about what that really means. And that's very important for the people of Afghanistan, but it's also important for the international community.”
6. Med shot, interviewer
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“The launch of the flash appeal on Monday, under the Secretary-General's auspices, will be for just a little over 600 million dollars for four months. And the needs range right through from helping those affected by the drought in terms of food security. Half of the children under five in Afghanistan are thought to be at risk of severe malnutrition. Two-thirds of the country needs humanitarian assistance. That was even before recent events. So, we have reassessed humanitarian needs, added more because of the circumstances now, and what we will be hoping to see on Monday are pledges and commitments to allow us to go forward.”
8. Med shot, interviewer
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Mullah Baradar, who is one of the top leaders of the movement in this new administration, confirmed support for all of those elements. This is essentially a description of the humanitarian space within which agencies operate. He is now turning, at my request, those oral commitments into written assurances. And we hope to have that letter from him with us on Monday here in Geneva.”
10. Med shot, interviewer

STORYLINE:

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said the launch of a flash appeal for Afghanistan on Monday is an “opportunity” to describe the needs of the Afghan people to members states and for them to “pledge a partnership with us to meet those needs in very difficult circumstances.”

In an interview ahead of the international conference set to take place on Monday (13 Sep), Griffiths said the needs in Afghanistan have grown enormously in recent weeks and stressed the need for the international community to focus on those needs.

Griffiths said he raised two main issues with the Taliban leadership in a recent visit to Kabul. He said the first was the rights of women and girls to all that is normal in society, including work, education, freedom of movement, among others. He said, “What they said to me was that we promised that the rights of women and girls will be respected subject, they added, to the religion and culture of Afghanistan. Now, this is a work in progress, and we've been here before. And so we need to have a lot more discussion in the days to come, in the weeks to come about what that really means. And that's very important for the people of Afghanistan, but it's also important for the international community.”

Griffiths also spoke to the Taliban about the conditions needed for humanitarian agencies to function. He said he went into some detail with the Mullah Baradar and his advisers on these issues, including the safety and security of humanitarian workers, the freedom of humanitarian agencies to employ whomever they desire, both men and women, and assurance that the operation is independent and is controlled by the humanitarian agencies involved.

The Humanitarian chief said, “Mullah Baradar, who is one of the top leaders of the movement in this new administration, confirmed support for all of those elements. This is essentially a description of the humanitarian space within which agencies operate. He is now turning, at my request, those oral commitments into written assurances. And we hope to have that letter from him with us on Monday here in Geneva.”

Griffith reported that the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan sooner than they thought and as such are unprepared. He said NGOs are reporting varying treatment by the Taliban in different provinces and noted that there is an incomplete history of commitment at the moment.

Griffiths said the launch of the flash appeal on Monday will be for “just a little over 600 million dollars for four months.” He said, “The needs range right through from helping those affected by the drought in terms of food security. Half of the children under five in Afghanistan are thought to be at risk of severe malnutrition. Two-thirds of the country needs humanitarian assistance. That was even before recent events. So, we have reassessed humanitarian needs, added more because of the circumstances now, and what we will be hoping to see on Monday are pledges and commitments to allow us to go forward.”

The UN humanitarian chief said he could sense directly, and representatives of Pakistan and Qatar have told him, that the Taliban leadership understands very clearly this time around how much they need the international community to deliver aid to the Afghan people, and this drives them to make sort of commitments that they made to him. He hoped that this would also drive their behaviour from promises into practice.
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