Conflicts & War

Taliban seek urgent humanitarian aid for Afghanistan ahead of harsh winter

Kabul, Oct 29 (EFE).- The Taliban Friday urged the international community to immediately release $1.2 in aid package for Afghanistan that is on the brink of an economic disaster with the harsh winter approaching fast.

Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen passionately appealed via Twitter for the aid ne1eded for “all poor, vulnerable, and displaced people” of the cash-strapped nation.

“The winter is around the corner, so immediate need for the international community to disburse on urgent basis the recently announced nearly one-billion-euro (some $1.2-billion) aid package pledged at a virtual G20 summit for Afghanistan,” Shaheen tweeted.

The EU pledged the aid package during the first face-to-face talks between the Taliban and a joint United States-European delegation on Oct.12 in Qatar.

At the Doha meeting and a G20 conference on Afghanistan, the participants said the world was committed to humanitarian aid for Afghans.

The hardline Islamist Taliban militia, which seized power in Kabul on Aug.4, seeks global recognition and assistance to avoid an impending humanitarian disaster hitting the war-ravaged country.

The world has blocked international aid to Afghanistan since the Taliban returned to power.

Afghan assets held abroad lay frozen even as the country battles rising food prices, food scarcity, and unemployment ahead of the harsh winter months.

Shaheen said the Taliban government was “ready to fully cooperate through the channeled agencies and other NGOs on the ground.”

“The humanitarian assistance will not end our shared and mutual responsibility towards impending migration, famine, and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.”

The spokesperson called on the global community to support Afghanistan by unfreezing nearly $10 billion assets of the Afghan people and resuming the development aid and projects pledged at the Geneva Conference 2020.

The Taliban request came hours after the United States said it would provide nearly $144 million in new humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said the total US humanitarian aid for Afghanistan had gone up to nearly $474 million in 2021.

“(The) assistance will flow through independent humanitarian organizations who provide support directly to more than 18.4 million vulnerable Afghans in the region, including Afghan refugees in neighboring countries,” Horne said.

Horne said the package was “in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the impending winter” in Afghanistan.

The United Nations, earlier this month, warned that Afghanistan was becoming the largest humanitarian crisis in the world “with a harsh winter on its way.”

The UN World Food Program said nearly 19 million Afghans faced acute food insecurity due to drought, conflict, and economic collapse.

It cited the findings of the latest IPC assessment (the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification), a global standard for assessing food insecurity.

Among these, about 6.8 million people in the northern half were experiencing critical levels of acute food insecurity, the assessment noted.

“People are experiencing spiraling levels of acute food insecurity in both rural and urban Afghanistan and need urgent lifesaving support to prevent catastrophic levels of food insecurity, and livelihood assistance to help households recover.” EFE

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