Kabul, August 7 (SO News/Agency) More than one million young children are suffering from severe malnutrition in the Hindu Kush state of Afghanistan. Half of the population of this country is dying of hunger. Sanctions against the Taliban have left Afghanistan with a humanitarian tragedy. The situation has become so dire that last year WFP World Food Program chief David Beasley called Afghanistan “hell on earth”.
The fact that there has been hardly any bombings, shootings, or fighting since the Afghan Taliban came back to power in Kabul in August 2021, but the back of the country’s economy has been broken.
The International Crisis Group, a think tank based in Brussels, expressed deep concern over this situation and said, “The hunger in the country is now more than the number of Afghans killed by bombs and bullets in the last two decades.” And the possibility of perishing from misery has arisen.
Nothing has improved since last winter. Nora Hasnain, deputy country director for Afghanistan at the aid organization Save the Children, told DW of the “desperate families” who are increasingly being forced to resort to “extreme and harmful tactics”.
What does this mean? “This includes selling their children, and other things they would never do before,” Hasnain says.
The Taliban were genuine partners of the Americans in the peace talks, which quickly turned into withdrawal talks, but the government they formed was internationally unrecognized and isolated.
As a result, the flow of money to Kabul stopped. To add to the gold, a ban was also imposed against ‘Muslim terrorists’. Now these restrictions are affecting the Taliban-led government and the entire country.
Restrictions are of two types. The United Nations and the European Union have individually banned various figures, including what the German Foreign Ministry says are members of the ‘de facto government’. In addition, the United States has unilaterally imposed sanctions on the Taliban, which Washington has listed as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization” (SDGT) since 1999.
Konrad Schetter, an expert at the International Center for Conflict Studies BICC in Bonn, Germany, said of the sanctions on the Taliban, “All economic possibilities except for humanitarian aid have been cut off. “Afghanistan has been completely cut off from economic and financial markets,” Shetter added. has again been pushed into a period of economic crisis in which its survival is threatened.”
The US administration’s decision to freeze the Afghan central bank’s balance of around seven billion euros and earmark half of that amount for possible compensation for victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks contributed to this.
“From the point of view of international law, central bank money does not belong to the government, but to the country,” says Elena Dohan, the UN’s special representative.
Remittances in Afghanistan are almost impossible due to sanctions and lack of foreign exchange, and without access to its foreign exchange reserves, the central bank can only play a limited role in the Afghan economy. In theory there are special permits for humanitarian aid, but in practice they are very difficult to obtain and this also applies to German aid to Afghanistan.
Alke Gottschalk, regional director for Asia of the German organization “World Hunger Help”, said in an interview to DW that aid organizations have to resort to unusual procedures to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
He said that money transfer and other economic challenges will be dealt with through ‘Hawala Network’. In practice, this means that the German organization “World Hunger Help” first transfers aid funds to the account of a referral network agent in a third country, and then the relevant agent ensures that the money reaches Kabul. . In cash form. “There we count the cash ourselves and then it can be used.”
The International Crisis Group believes that Afghanistan’s international isolation or isolation must first be ended.
“To save the country from an even greater catastrophe, its isolation must be lifted,” wrote Graeme Smith, an Afghanistan expert with the think tank, after a visit to Kabul in early June. Encouragement should be given and western and regional governments should be convinced that this will help economic recovery.”