Millions of Afghans face misery and hunger, amid the collapse of the local economy against the background of deteriorating conditions since the arrival of the Taliban to power in August 2021.
Afghanistan goes through its toughest phase after a succession of humanitarian crises. It also receives low humanitarian assistance, something that portends negative consequences for the ruling movement from a political point of view.
Observers refer to Afghanistan’s frozen funds in other countries.
The Taliban, they say, can use these funds to cater to the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.
UN Envoy to Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, warned that the Taliban’s crackdown on women’s rights is likely to lead to a decrease in aid and development funding in the country.
She told the UN Security Council that the provision of such assistance is at risk after the Taliban government banned girls from going to secondary schools and universities, banned them from parks, and prevented them from working with aid groups.
The UN issued the largest aid appeal to a single country ever, requesting $4.6 billion in 2023 to provide assistance in Afghanistan, where two-thirds of the population, about 28 million people, need it to survive.
The UN envoy pointed out that Afghanistan’s funding is likely to decrease, if women are not allowed to work.
If the amount of aid is reduced, she said, the volume of cash transfers in US dollars required to support that assistance would also decrease.
The US is the largest donor to the UN’s 2022 assistance plan for Afghanistan, providing more than $1 billion.
The UNHCR and its partners have launched joint plans for humanitarian response and the provision of necessary relief assistance, as 24 million people inside the country and 5.7 million Afghans living in five neighbouring countries need support.
According to the UNHCR, 24 million people in Afghanistan urgently need humanitarian relief, 800,000 newly displaced people inside Afghanistan in 2021, 3.5 million people internally displaced as a result of the conflict in the country as of December 31, 2021, in addition to 5.7 million Afghan refugees and their host communities in five neighbouring countries in need of support.
Pakistan warned of the negative repercussions of the reduction of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
About 28 million Afghans are facing poverty, Ambassador Munir Akram, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, during his participation in the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.
He added that the cessation or reduction of humanitarian assistance would harm the Afghan people, including children, women and men.
“They need the international community to stand with them and support their human rights,” he said.
Akram explained that Pakistan supports the recovery plan set by the UN secretary-general, which amounts to $4.2 billion to provide humanitarian support to the Afghan people, expressing deep concern about recent developments in Afghanistan.
He also called for lifting sanctions on Afghanistan as a first step and the restoration of exemptions from the travel ban.
Afghan affairs researcher, Ahmed Sayed Abu Salima, said 298 people returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan during the past period.
He revealed that the Bank of Afghanistan announced the arrival of another international humanitarian aid package worth $40 million to Kabul.
Abu Salima pointed out that countries, such as China, the UAE and Iran, are working to establish their presence and influence inside Afghanistan through humanitarian assistance and the provision of goods and services.
“A package of cash assistance of $40 million a week was received by Kabul, where this assistance reached $2 billion after the Taliban seized power,” Abu Salima told The Reference.