Fears are growing in the world about the impending humanitarian catastrophe in the country.

On Tuesday, the G20 countries are holding a special summit organized by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The situation in Afghanistan is central to the plan, as fears of an impending humanitarian catastrophe are growing in the world after the return of the Taliban to power in this country.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, the country has experienced an almost complete collapse of its economy, exacerbated by drought and poverty after decades of war and creates the risk of mass flight of residents.

“The focus of the summit is on providing urgent humanitarian support to the Afghan population, combating terrorism, ensuring freedom of movement within the country and open borders,” Draghi’s press service said in a brief statement.

The video conference started at 11:00 GMT and was supposed to last about two and a half hours.

U.S. President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the G20 European countries leaders are invited to the summit. Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping did not connect to the video broadcast. It is also unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part. This highlights the differences in the positions of the parties on the issue of Afghanistan.

“The main problem is that Western countries associate the difficulties that have arisen with the way the Taliban govern the country, including their attitude towards women, while China and Russia adhere to a policy of non-interference,” said a diplomatic source close to the situation.

The summit is also attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who stressed the central role of the organization in relations with Afghanistan, which is partly due to the reluctance of many countries to maintain relations directly with the Taliban.

The country’s banks are running out of money; civil servants are not paid salaries and rising food prices.

“The crisis affects at least 18 million people – half of the country’s population,” Guterres told reporters in New York on Monday, adding that with winter approaching, a large-scale UN relief operation is becoming particularly urgent.

Italy, currently occupying the transitional post of chairman of the G20, has worked hard to organize the meeting. However, the group members strongly disagree on dealing with Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American troops from the country.

China has publicly demanded the lifting of economic sanctions against Afghanistan and the return to Kabul of billions of dollars from the country’s frozen international assets.

The United States and the United Kingdom oppose such a move, where many of these assets are stored.

Guterres on Monday called for a significant injection of liquidity into the Afghan economy but said the funds should not be channeled through the Taliban. The European Union on Tuesday said it would provide an additional 700 million euros ($810 million) in emergency aid to Afghanistan and its neighbors.

Two neighboring states, Pakistan and Iran, were not invited to the G20 summit. Still, Qatar, which has assumed a vital role as a mediator between the Taliban and the West, took part in a video conference.

The virtual summit comes just days after senior U.S.and Taliban officials met in Qatar to hold their first face-to-face talks since the Taliban came to power.