After PMQs on February 9 2022, I watched a debate on an urgent question about Afghanistan. Few Tory MPs stayed but Andrew Mitchell, Roger Gale and Jonny Mercer spoke up. Labour MPs (Minister David Lammy and Hilary Benn MP) and Layla Moran (Lib Dem ) spoke as well.
Andrew Mitchell urged the Government to respond to this ‘ horrific Afghanistan crisis’. He raised reports of children been sold for early marriage. Also of body organs sold to gain money for food. Andrew Mitchell welcomed the £286million of U.K. aid but warned it is not enough. He pointed out that Britain ‘ can and must do more’ for the people especially children. Andrew Mitchell said in the Commons that ‘90% of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat, five million are in camps ‘.
He mentioned that it is ’… not just an appeal to our humanity, it’s firmly and completely in our own interest.’
David Lammy said ‘This catastrophe will continue to get worse without a coordinated international response’, adding ‘It is a moral imperative that we act and act swiftly to help Afghanistan in time of its greatest need.’
Foreign Office minister Vicky Ford said ‘ We have announced and already spent over £176 million of aid.’
As we know it will be dribbled week by week.
The entire debate was heartbreaking. The Afghanistan Winter Crisis features in papers such as the i newspaper, and appears at least once a week: £145 could help provide a displaced family with an Emergency Payment, so they can buy warm blankets, food and other essentials they need to survive .
The World Bank is to send £1 billion in development funding for Afghanistan.
You can donate here https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/afghanistan-crisis-appeal