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The UN is calling for the resumption of development aid in Afghanistan

The international community should start providing development aid to Afghanistan again as the country faces a worsening humanitarian and economic crisis, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said on Monday.

After the Taliban seized power, development aid to Afghanistan, on which the country relied heavily, was suspended, with the international community demanding that the Islamists first respect the rights of Afghans, especially girls and women.

“Poverty is deepening, the population is still growing and the de facto authorities do not have the budget to invest in their own future. It is clear to us that some development support must be restarted,” Griffiths explained to the UN Security Council.

More than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, while six million are at risk of starvation, he said. More than a million children are “estimated to be suffering from the most severe form of life-threatening malnutrition” and may die if they do not receive appropriate treatment, Griffiths said.

“Afghanistan’s de facto authorities must also contribute. Bureaucratic interference and procedures are delaying humanitarian aid when (Afghans) need it most. Women aid workers should be allowed to work unhindered and safely. And girls should be allowed to continue their education,” she noted.

The Taliban government has not been officially recognized by any foreign government and has been subject to international sanctions, which the UN and humanitarian organizations complain are hampering the work of aid organizations in Afghanistan.

International banks have avoided doing business with Afghan authorities for fear of violating sanctions, and the UN and aid agencies have battled for the past year to get enough money into the country.

“Aid workers have flown more than a billion dollars in cash into the country to continue aid, but the liquidity and banking crisis continues to affect aid distribution and the daily lives of Afghans,” Griffiths explained.

The UN is trying to launch a system that would see millions of dollars in aid exchanged for Afghan currency to address the economic and humanitarian crisis while bypassing the Taliban.

According to Griffiths, that plan is “still under review” with the Taliban.

SOURCE: AMPE

Source: Capital

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