IRELAND WILL provide €1 million in funding to support those affected by the crisis in Afghanistan, Simon Coveney has announced.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs confirmed the news yesterday evening, as the Taliban tightened its grip on Afghanistan and the capital of Kabul and declared the war to be over, as thousands fled to airports in an attempt to escape the brutal regime.
The Minister for International Development and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, will work together with Mr Coveney to provide the funding to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide emergency support to citizens in Afghanistan, as well as to those who have fled in to neighbouring countries.
Speaking as the €1 million funding was announced, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD said:
"I have approved €1 million to the UN High Commission for Refugees for the people of Afghanistan. The situation in the country is incredibly worrying. Even before the events of the last few weeks there were already almost three million Afghans displaced from their homes by insecurity. That figure is now rising.
"Ireland will continue to engage, including at the UN Security Council, to support peace in Afghanistan and to protect and promote the human rights of all Afghans, especially for women and girls. Ireland has also called for full and safe humanitarian access to allow life-saving support to reach all Afghans, including to respond to the urgent needs of families forced to flee their homes."
Minister for International Development and Diaspora, Mr Colm Brophy, added:
"The UN estimates that nearly half of Afghanistan’s population are currently in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. The situation is likely to worsen over the coming days and weeks as a result of the insecurity in the country. This funding will provide shelter and basic day-to-day needs for people in Afghanistan, as well as for Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries."
"Through Irish Aid, the Government has already provided €1m in humanitarian support to people in Afghanistan this year. Today’s announcement of a further €1m is in response to the unprecedented challenges facing Afghanistan."
Images and videos emerging from Afghanistan have shocked the world, as desperate people risk everything to flee the Taliban, who have regained sweeping power following the quiet departure of US troops from the country for the first time in 20 years.
Videos captured men clinging to the wheels of a US jet, before falling to their deaths as it took off, and shots were fired at a desperate crowd of asylum seekers at Kabul airport.
Meanwhile, the Taliban are exploring their new palaces and government buildings, having been spotted using a gym and attending a theme park.
An Irish woman who has been working as a teacher in Kabul for over two years yesterday spoke to Irish radio programme Morning Ireland where she described the chaos in the streets as the Taliban regained power, but assured her loved ones at home that the Irish government were doing everything to bring her to safety.
Simon Coveney announced earlier this week that Ireland would take at least 150 Afghan refugees, with the number likely to increase in the coming months.