The United Kingdom welcomes adoption of today’s resolution, which creates a humanitarian exception to enable the delivery of desperately needed aid in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is facing the world’s largest food security crisis. Over 20 million people, half the population, are in need of urgent assistance.

Donors and the public have responded generously. The UK has doubled aid for Afghanistan this financial year to £286 million. We welcome the global effort to finance the UN’s Flash Appeal, and most recently the decision by the members of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation to step up their efforts.

At the same time, we have a shared responsibility to put in place the means to deliver aid, efficiently and effectively, and where it is most needed.

This resolution will help save lives, by ensuring that the 1988 sanctions regime poses no obstacle to the provision of humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan. This directly responds to what the humanitarian community told us they needed.

We must ensure that the Council continues to strike a balance between enabling life-saving aid, and minimising the risk of accrual of any benefits to individuals or entities designated on the 1988 Sanctions List. The Security Council will review this after a year.

We welcome the assurances given by the Taliban to allow humanitarian access and their commitment not to tax aid. This is vital to ensure as many Afghans as possible are able to benefit from assistance, including the most vulnerable such as women, girls and members of minorities.

Finally, I want to pay tribute to all those across the UN family, including the UN’s Emergency Response Co-ordinator and his team, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and hers, as well as to the countless humanitarian actors in Afghanistan and outside, for all that they are doing to scale up the response; and I would like to express our solidarity with the Afghan people at this time of extreme hardship.

I thank you Mr President.

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    This resolution will save lives by ensuring that the 1988 sanctions regime poses no obstacle to delivering aid in Afghanistan

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