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UN evacuating about 100 staffers from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan

Majority of UN humanitarian personnel will remain to provide ‘vital assistance to millions most in need’.

The UN announced on Wednesday it is evacuating about 100 of its international personnel from Afghanistan and sending them to neighboring Kazakhstan.

The staffers will continue to carry out their duties from Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, and the UN thanked the Kazakh government for hosting the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s remote office.

“The United Nations presence in Afghanistan will adapt to the security situation,” the international body said in a statement. “In light of security and other constraints in Kabul and other parts of the country at the moment, it was decided to move part of the UN staff out of the country. Personnel will return to Afghanistan as conditions permit.”

The UN maintained it is committed to delivering aid to the Afghan people “in their hour of need,” and said the majority of its humanitarian personnel will remain to provide “vital assistance to millions most in need.”

“This is a temporary measure intended to enable the UN to keep delivering assistance to the people of Afghanistan with the minimum of disruption while at the same time reducing risk to UN personnel,” it added.

The decision to pull out some staff comes in the wake of the Taliban seizing control of Afghanistan from the formerly internationally-recognized government. The hardline militant group has pledged to uphold human rights, including for women and girls, but strong skepticism remains in large part due to their brutal half-decade-long rule from 1996 to 2001.

*Betul Yuruk contributed to this report from the United Nations

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