After a meeting between top UN officials and Taliban leaders on Sunday, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar - who is expected to be Afghanistan's next president, the Taliban said the UN has vowed to keep aid flowing to the country, which ultimately means at least in part to the Taliban itself.
Representing the UN side was Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. A Taliban spokesman said, "The UN delegation promised continuation of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, saying he would call for further assistance to Afghanistan during the coming meeting of donor countries."
"The IEA delegation thanked the UN delegation, assuring them of cooperation and provision of needed
facilities," the spokesman Suhail Shaheen added.
The UN's Griffiths at the meeting "reiterated the humanitarian community’s commitment to deliver impartial and independent humanitarian assistance and protection to millions of people in need."
The UN also urged the Taliban to uphold gender equality and the rights of minorities: "He emphasized the critical role of women in the delivery of aid and called on all parties to ensure their rights, safety and well-being. He called for all civilians – especially women and girls and minorities – to be protected at all times. Mr. Griffiths expressed his solidarity with the people of Afghanistan," a UN statement said.
"Now more than ever, the people of Afghanistan need the support and solidarity of the international community," the UN added.
The UN statement called the humanitarian catastrophe still gripping the country after two decades of war a "grim situation" and described the future bleak outlook for children as follows: "...more than half of all children under-five are at risk of acute malnutrition as the second severe drought in four years threatens to spark further hunger in the months ahead."
The UN delegation had been invited to speak to Baradar in Kabul, also at a moment the European Union is considering reestablishing offices inside the Afghan capital for the purpose of EU-wide representation to the Taliban.