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UN seeks $606 million for Afghanistan after Taliban takeover

The United Nations is hosting a high-level donors conference to drum up emergency funds for Afghanistan after last month’s Taliban takeover of the country that stunned the world.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is leading the world body’s call for more than $600 million for the rest of this year in a “flash appeal” for Afghans after their country’s government was toppled by the Taliban and US and NATO forces exited the 20-year war in a chaotic departure.

There are concerns that instability and upended humanitarian efforts, compounded by an ongoing drought, could further endanger lives and plunge Afghanistan toward famine.

The conference puts to the test some Western governments and other big traditional UN donors who want to help everyday Afghans without handing a public relations victory or cash to the Taliban, who ousted the internationally backed government in a lightning sweep.

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