UN urges economic aid for Afghanistan to avoid disaster

welcome back to the program i’m yalda hikim two months after the taliban sees back power the country is facing economic collapse now the un secretary general is calling for immediate economic support in a bid to prevent a humanitarian disaster leaders of the g20 group of developed economies are meeting virtually to discuss the growing crisis writing on social media ahead of the meeting the european commission president ursula vonderlein said we must do all we can to avert a major humanitarian and socio-economic collapse in afghanistan we need to do it fast i will present an afghan support package worth around 1 billion euros she also said that any engagement with the afghan authorities comes with a number of conditions including on human rights but made it clear that afghan people should not pay the price for the actions of the taliban that view was also echoed by the u.n secretary general the afghan people cannot suffer a collective punishment because the taliban misbehave people should not die of anger in any circumstance that was the un secretary general there so why is this happening now well according to the un the humanitarian situation has deteriorated in recent months due to a combination of factors including conflict drought and covet over 18 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance across the country that includes more than nine and a half million children with one in two under five facing acute malnutrition overall around 30 percent of the population is facing crisis levels of food insecurity and international aid is clearly key to all of this the world bank says foreign aid uh makes up 40 percent of gdp for more on the scale of the humanitarian challenges in afghanistan here’s the bbc’s yugi lemay in kabul this 18 million number that the un has been quoting for a few months now who are in need of urgent life-saving support as they put it which means people who need basic food medicines just to survive the day and in in the past one and a half months since the taliban sees control of this country on the 15th of august access to so many places has been difficult we have heard the un say since the 15th of august that their local staff are facing harassment and intimidation so there is you know the other challenge as well of people who are on the ground trying to deliver aid but then not necessarily in every place being able to safely allow to do so but today’s announcement will certainly be a shorten the arm to organizations like the un that are working here on the ground who have been repeatedly saying that there aren’t enough funds for the needs of afghanistan and that afghan people should not suffer irrespective of what the political situation is we did hear interestingly and significantly from the european commission president when she said that this is humanitarian aid it will be channeled through international agencies that are operating on the ground it is separate to development aid that was also coming into afghanistan prior to the 15th of august and being channeled through the government and through government agencies on the ground so she has made that separation very clear trying to say that afghan people shouldn’t suffer we should be trying to help them out but at the same time this is a government that has ceased control of the country this is a government that we do not recognize yet and therefore development aid which was flowing into the country uh is not you know there wasn’t an indication that she was about to start that yet uh yugita you’ve been covering this story for some time you were there before the fall you were there after the fall uh this harsh winter is also looming just tell us what you’re seeing in kabul uh the the levels of displacement and and hunger is that visible now well yes it is still visible there are spaces in this city where people are living out in the open uh you know with with with tense as a accommodation uh the temperature does drop even here in kabul uh at night and it is quite cold and we are heading into uh you know even harsher months ahead when it is going to be bitterly cold we are also hearing from humanitarian agencies operating in other more remote parts of afghanistan where prices of everything have have shot up i mean one of the things that has happened after the 15th of august is access to cash isn’t easy even though banks have slowly opened up it’s still very restricted and once that happens when there’s a shortage of cash in any economy the prices of basic day-to-day necessities soars and so people as you say who were having a very difficult time even prior to the 15th of august it’s gotten more dire now and in the months to come with the winter coming in it is going to get even more difficult that was yogita lamai reporting there will ashley carl the deputy chief of mission for the international organization for migration who’s currently running their operations in afghanistan he told me how things were on the ground there iom is one of the biggest distributors of shelter material non-food items such as blankets and and mats which are going to be critically important for keeping afghans warm during the bitter winter that was spoken about earlier in your program where winter is around the corner and of course the roads will become far more difficult to access due to snow and ice so we’re making sure that we can get out of those shelter materials really soon in addition to that we’re providing multi-purpose cash as as was also presented in your program the liquidity in afghanistan is a significant issue at the moment and ensuring that we can put cash in afghans our hands particularly those that have been displaced remembering that there’s around 630 000 afghans that already been displaced this year is critically important and of course health the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse the world bank of course made that decision uh a few weeks ago and we are trying to fill those gaps wherever we can together with others in the international community how is that working i mean we’re hearing you know creating other channels to to bypass uh the taliban and get the the funds and the resources directly into the hands of the afghans i mean is it easy for the iom at present to get their hands on cash and turn that into resources uh on the ground without dealing directly with the taliban i mean certainly uh yoda it it’s a significant issue not just for iom for all of the international humanitarian community uh cash is is one of the biggest issues having said that we’ve found ways to work with the local money service providers to be able to still get that much-needed cash into hands we don’t provide any direct assistance uh to the to the de facto authorities so there’s no real risk there that money is is falling into those hands and i have to say up until now there hasn’t been any evidence uh that there is the taliban uh collecting funds that we’re distributing directly to those communities  

Leave a Comment