UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths has raised the issue of women's education and work and how this affects UN operations, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.
Griffiths arrived in Afghanistan on Monday and met with several officials of the Islamic Emirate including the 2nd deputy PM, Abdul Salam Hanafi.
Women's rights, humanitarian aid, the role of women aid workers in delivering aid to women and children, ensuring security, general amnesty, ban on poppy cultivation and the courts' activities were discussed in the meeting, the deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi, said.
Griffiths in his meeting with Hanafi said that the UN is appealing for $4.6 billion in 2023.
“The deputy of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate demanded that in case any side wants to make observations, the engagement should continue in order to reach a result,” Karimi said.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs also met with the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi.
“Afghanistan is part of the international community and the UN has the responsibility to play its role in creating closer ties between Afghanistan and the world,” said Hafiz Zia Ahmad Takal, deputy spokesman for the foreign ministry.
The UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Griffiths would engage the caretaker Afghan government "with the same message that we've been delivering since the beginning on the need to roll back the policies that were put in place" on women.
He said Griffiths would "underscore the message that humanitarian aid cannot be delivered without women."
The delegation led by Griffiths included CARE International secretary-general Sofía Sprechmann Sineiro, UNICEF deputy executive director Omar Abdi, and the head of Save the Children.
This comes as women’s rights activists said that the process of aid distribution without women’s participation will face challenges.
“The issue of women’s and human rights should not change into a political issue and half of the Afghan population should not be used for a political game,” said Marriam Naibi, a women’s rights activist.
Within the past two weeks, Griffiths is the second UN official to visit Afghanistan following the ban announced by the Islamic Emirate on female employees working at NGOs.