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Senior Tory MPs urge UK to do more to respond to ‘horrific’ Afghanistan crisis

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ritain “can and must do more” to respond to the “horrific” humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan a Tory former international development secretary has urged.

Andrew Mitchell welcomed the £286 million of UK aid announced so far but warned it is “not enough”.

He raised reports of people selling their daughters into early marriage or parting with body organs in a bid to provide food for their families.

The UK’s 20-year military mission in Afghanistan ended in August as the Taliban swept to power.

90% of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat, five million are living in camps, four million are just over the border in Iran and they won’t stay there, they will be heading for Europe and Britain before long

Mr Mitchell, asking an urgent question in the House of Commons, said: “The stark reality is Britain can and must do more to rise to this horrific challenge.

“The inescapable facts are that the Taliban won and we lost, but we have previously promised that the military withdrawal would not be followed by economic and political withdrawal.”

He added: “90% of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat, five million are living in camps, four million are just over the border in Iran and they won’t stay there, they will be heading for Europe and Britain before long.

“UN professionals have made clear that 4.4 billion US dollars is required and, typically, fair burden sharing would mean the UK agrees to doing around 10% of this.”

Mr Mitchell said Britain needs to give “oomph” and “vigour” to the global bid to raise more funds for Afghanistan, adding: “It’s not just an appeal to our humanity, it’s firmly and completely in our own national interest.”

For Labour, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said: “This catastrophe will continue to get worse without a coordinated international response.

“It is a moral imperative that we act and we act swiftly to help Afghanistan in a time of its greatest need.”

Senior Tory MP Sir Roger Gale spoke of what he said was ‘virtually genocide by starvation’ / PA Media

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