World Food Program’s Beasley Met with Taliban on Continuity of UN Relief for Afghanistan
Sept. 1, 2021 (EIRNS)—David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, was in Afghanistan last week, during the evacuation period, to personally see to arrangements to continue and step up food and humanitarian relief in these very hard times. He met with Taliban leaders on plans. Then, back in his home state of South Carolina, Beasley, the former governor, was interviewed by the local WBTW TV, stressing the need for resources and action in Afghanistan.
Overall, 18 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian relief—half the population, with over 500,000 displaced. There are 4 million facing death from starvation this winter, without reliable food relief, Beasley said, which the WFP has to preposition now.
He stressed, on his operating approach, “We have to negotiate, work with whoever controls an area. That’s why we’re in war zones. We work with both sides. We have no choice, because we’re trying to reach the innocent victims in the conflict. “ He said of his visit, “We’ve had very frank conversations and so far quite shockingly, the Taliban has said to us, ‘We want you to do what you do. We don’t want to interfere.’ They’ve actually provided protection to our warehouses and some of our supply chain and our routes.”
The World Food Program is appealing for an additional $200 million over the next 45-day period, in order to obtain and pre-stage food for the coming winter months. Beasley is also mobilizing WFP workers to man the front lines to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in poor countries. The WFP is the UN logistics and travel service for all purposes, not just food.
Today, UN representative in Afghanistan Isabelle Moussard Carlsen gave an interview to CGTN on the dimensions of need for aid in Afghanistan. Since May, 80,000 more people have been displaced, above the 500,000, and more of this is taking place. Of the children under five years old, 60% are suffering from acute, severe malnutrition.