The prime minister of Pakistan has added his weight to a call from Gordon Brown asking the international community to find billions of pounds for a UN emergency appeal to prevent the starvation of the Afghan population.
More than 5,000 people have signed a Save The Children on line petition, launched on Monday, urging the Government to lead the relief efforts and convene an emergency conference.
Imran Khan’s intervention marks the launch today of a new social media campaign, to #SaveAfghanLives which will escalate the wide spread concern about the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Afghanistan.
An estimated five million children and four million adults are now suffering from the acute effects of malnutrition and 23 million people will face severe famine in the coming months unless the aid the UN is appealing for is forthcoming within days.
I will add my voice also and want people to join an international initiative to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, putting at risk of starvation millions of Afghans, especially children. #SaveAfghanLives pic.twitter.com/HFrsAOfZSm
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 23, 2022
Mr Brown believes the government should convene an emergency aid conference of the 40 nations in the US-led coalition whose departure, on top of harvest failure and Covid, has left Afghanistan facing catastrophe.
The former prime minister wrote to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss earlier this month with his proposal for the urgent humanitarian aid conference, saying he has not had a reply.
Mr Khan’s tweet in support of #SaveAfghanLives, which is trending in Pakistan, says: “I will add my voice also and want people to join an international initiative to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, putting at risk of starvation millions of Afghans, especially children.”
Mr Brown said: “The TV pictures coming out of Afghanistan are harrowing and heart-breaking.
“But you no longer just have to sit watch them and not know how to help.
“Together we can show the UK government that we the people understand that not a moment is to be lost if lives are to be saved.”
Kirsty McNeill, executive director of policy, advocacy & campaigns at Save the Children UK said: “Time is running out to get Afghan children the urgent support they desperately need.
“Families are doing everything they can just to survive, even making the impossible decision of giving up their own babies because they can’t afford to feed their other children.
“The number of malnourished children visiting our mobile health clinics in Afghanistan has more than doubled since last August, with some dying before they can even reach the hospital.”