World leaders met virtually to discuss plans to prevent the collapse of Afghanistan economy and address the unfolding humanitarian disaster in the country. The UN Human Rights Council adopts EU-led resolution on the human rights situation, and the EU organised a High-level Resettlement Forum on Afghanistan.

On 12 October, the G20 held an extraordinary leaders’ meeting on Afghanistan under the chairmanship of the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The European Union pledged one billion euro through a support package for Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries. The funding includes 300 million euro in humanitarian aid already agreed with extra support for vaccinations, sheltering and human rights protection, at least 250 million Euro in support for urgent needs like health as well as funds to support Afghanistan’s neighbours and enhance security. Germany also reaffirmed their commitment of providing 600 million euro in humanitarian assistance for Afghans in the country and in countries in the region. The Italian government announced that Italy will be evacuating 5,000 Afghans. The government of Canada increased their quota of 20,000 places for Afghans in need of protection to 40,000. Meanwhile, the Turkish President Recep Tyyep Erdogan proposed a working group on migration under the framework of the G20: the proposal must be discussed among the G20 members for their consensus.

On Thursday 7 October, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, establishing the mandate of a Special Rapporteur whose task is to monitor human rights violations and abuses in Afghanistan. The resolution was proposed by the EU and co-sponsored by 50 countries. China, Russia, Pakistan, Eritrea and Venezuela voted against the resolution.

Also on 7 October, the EU organised a High-level Resettlement Forum on Afghanistan. The Forum, which was co-hosted by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs and Migration Ylva Johansson and EU High Representative Josep Borrel, brought together the EU’s Member States at the ministerial level, representatives of the government of Canada, the US and the UK as well as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The focus of the Forum was to help Afghans at risk by providing protection through resettlement and other safe pathways to Europe. UNHCR has called for the protection of 85,000 people in need over the coming five years, and asked the EU to accept half of them. In response, Ylva Johansson said that the EU can resettle 42,500 Afghans from the region in the next five years, but noted that member state pledges are made voluntarily.

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Photo: by Mohammad Rahmani on Unsplash

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.