Today, the threat of a humanitarian crisis is growing in many regions of the world, associated with the severe economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, disruption of global supply chains and logistics, as well as destructive climate change.
The continuing grave humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is of particular concern. Today, the Afghan people are facing serious socio-economic problems.
According to UN estimates, almost half of the country’s population – 18 million people – is vitally dependent on humanitarian aid. More than half of all Afghan children under the age of five will suffer from malnutrition in the near future.
Drawing the attention of the international community to this important problem, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, during his speech at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, emphasized that “in the current difficult period, it is impossible to isolate Afghanistan, leave it alone with the existing big problems.”
In order to ensure systematic, centralized and targeted delivery of humanitarian goods to Afghanistan and other countries, in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Termez Cargo Center logistics terminal in Surkhandarya region has been given the status of an International Multifunctional Transport and Logistics Hub for Humanitarian Assistance.
The international hub has all the necessary infrastructure – an international airport, a river port, a railway and highways connecting with Afghanistan, there is also a one-of-a-kind large logistics terminal “Termez Cargo Center”, located in close proximity to the Afghan border and equipped with the most modern technology and equipment.
The leadership of the United Nations, other leading international organizations and many states support Uzbekistan’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan using the available opportunities in Termez.
Uzbekistan provides all possible assistance to the fraternal people of Afghanistan. In September and December 2021 the Government of the Republic delivered two large humanitarian cargoes with a total volume of more than 5 thousand tons through Termez. On April 30, 2022, on the eve of the holy Muslim holiday of Ramadan Eid, our country delivered about 4 thousand tons of humanitarian cargo to the people of Afghanistan. All this humanitarian aid consisted of food, medicine, clothing, textile products, wheat and coal.
Uzbekistan, using infrastructure and transport and logistics opportunities in the city of Termez in Surkhandarya region, assists international organizations and individual countries in carrying out their humanitarian activities in Afghanistan. In December 2021, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sent the first batch of humanitarian aid from Termez to Afghanistan, consisting of 40 tons of basic necessities. In February 2022, the Office sent 20 tons of humanitarian aid with basic necessities from Termez to Tajikistan as part of assistance in preparing for a possible influx of refugees from Afghanistan. UNHCR has given the Management office in Termez the status of a Regional Humanitarian Logistics Hub with the possibility of expanding the geography of humanitarian cargo deliveries.
The UN World Food Program (WFP) regularly sends humanitarian supplies from Termez to Afghanistan. According to the WFP, from November 2021 to the present, about 42 thousand tons of food products have been sent through Termez to Afghanistan.
In addition, the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the European Union and other international structures and foreign countries are also interested in using the transit potential of Uzbekistan.
The creation of an International Hub corresponds to the interests and efforts of the international community in the Afghan issue. The most important thing is that this will make it possible to promptly deliver essential goods to the people of Afghanistan and, thus, provide effective assistance to the Afghan people in overcoming the humanitarian crisis.
Uzbekistan is ready for active cooperation in this matter with all international partners.