Statement by H.E. Mrs. Eva-Maria Liimets, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, at the High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan 13 September 2021, Geneva

Excellences, dear colleagues,

Thank you for this timely meeting. We all witness the tragedy of the Afghan people. Unfortunately, years of war, economic challenges, protracted poverty, pandemic and environmental changes have left over half of the Afghan population in need of humanitarian aid. Recent events have considerably added to already wide-spread displacement with severe humanitarian consequences. Instability continues, deteriorating the situation for vulnerable people.

The people of Afghanistan deserve peace and security. Estonia has participated in the stabilization and rebuilding of Afghanistan since 2006. We shared the international communities’ common goal of creating conditions that would enable the Afghan people independently ensure peace and security in their own country. With recent events in mind, those in positions of authority in Afghanistan, now carry the responsibility and accountability for the safety and security in the country. Estonia calls all parties to adhere to international law, in particular international humanitarian law and uphold the norms and standards on human rights.

We must ensure that lifesaving aid continues now, when it is most needed. We acknowledge the utmost importance of the role of humanitarian organisations in the country as providers of emergency services and food assistance. Moreover, we appreciate the particular attention to the most vulnerable, including women and children, in particular girls, and the focus on children’s healthcare. It is important to uphold the achievements from past two decades, particularly the rights for women to meaningfully participate in the society and girls to continue their education.

Estonia is committed to alleviating the humanitarian situation of the people in Afghanistan. Today Estonia pledges 50’000 euros through the ICRC to respond to the most acute humanitarian needs in the country. We are ready to look into further contributions through international organisations as well as through the Team Europe efforts.

Thank you!