State Secretary Raščan at the extraordinary meeting of EU Development Cooperation ministers on Afghanistan
State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Stanislav Raščan attended the extraordinary meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council composed of the ministers of International Development Cooperation (FAC DEV). The topic of discussion was Afghanistan. State Secretary Raščan stressed that the complexity of the situation in the country requires that international partners mount a continuous and coordinated response.
The ministers discussed the humanitarian aspects of the Afghanistan crisis at the FAC DEV meeting, which followed the earlier meeting on the same topic of the EU Directors-General for Development in October and the informal dinner of the European Council on 5 October 2021.
The debate focused on the EU’s response to the situation in the country, which has been rapidly and severely deteriorating following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops. The situation in Afghanistan is already alarming due to the existing humanitarian food crisis and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The humanitarian situation is also worsening as a result of failing health and social institutions, which under the new conditions are not providing basic services to populations at risk.
State Secretary Raščan stressed the need to provide substantial assistance to the people in Afghanistan and those who have fled to the surrounding countries before winter starts. According to him, it is of vital importance to find a solution to how to establish the basic functioning of health and social services to avoid the deepening of human suffering. State Secretary Raščan went on to stress that it is crucial for the Union to act in a coordinated manner and in cooperation with the United Nations. It is also necessary for the EU to act in a coherent fashion, relying on the common messages on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan coordinated by the EU Working Party on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA) under the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is also essential to support the region in the care of displaced persons and refugees from Afghanistan through the Team Europe regional initiatives. Slovenia backs the regional Team Europe Initiative, which aims at helping displaced persons in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.