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G20 leaders pledge to avert economic disaster in Afghanistan

Members of the G20 group of major economies have pledged to avert an economic catastrophe in Afghanistan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country should not be allowed to “descend into chaos”.

The virtual summit came as the UN urged world leaders to put billions of dollars into the Afghan economy.

US President Joe Biden stressed that aid should be provided via independent international organisations and not directly to the ruling Taliban.

But so far the money forthcoming has largely been counted in millions, just to provide emergency food and medicine.

Pledges include a promise by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to give €1bn ($1.15bn; £850m) to Afghanistan and to neighbouring countries taking in refugees.

Editing by Tola Oguneye