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A view ahead of a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, August 24, 2021.

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The Afghan aid dilemma

Representatives from some 40 donor countries for Afghanistan gathered on Monday in Geneva to make a tough choice: keep humanitarian aid flowing to a country governed by violent religious zealots, or potentially watch one in three Afghans starve to death this winter.

In the end donors collectively pledged more than $1 billion, well above the $606 million the UN had asked for in order to avoid a famine that would have affected 14 million Afghans, about a third of the population, by the end of the year. But that's a drop in the bucket for the country's immense needs.

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