Humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

According to reports, nearly 20 million Afghans are currently facing serious risk of hunger in neighbouring Afghanistan, while the months-long impasse between the world and Kabul further causes gravity in the prevailing situations and endangers the survival of millions of lives in Afghanistan. Currently, About three-quarters of Afghanistan’s people need humanitarian aid as their country emerges from decades of conflict under an internationally isolated Taliban administration that took over as US-backed foreign forces withdrew in 2021. Development assistance that for years formed the backbone of government finances has been cut, the administration is subject to sanctions and central bank assets abroad have been frozen.

Historically, Afghanistan’s economy witnessed a sudden collapse after the US Forces withdrew from the country which led to the collapse of the entire government and banking system, halted foreign aid and prompted food shortages in violence-hit Afghanistan. The crisis partly stems from the blockage of Western funding and crucial economic support, while severe drought, commodity price hikes, freezing of Afghan assets abroad and the Ukraine war multiplied problems and added to the economic woes of millions of Afghans. Interestingly, the Afghan people were caught between two parts of the mill as the withdrawal of European allies and imposition of economic sanctions broke their back on one hand while the damaging policies of the ruling Taliban equally hurt its population which was already embattled with the worst economic conditions in their homeland.

According to the United Nations Humanitarian Aid Coordination Office, $125 million had been earmarked for countries facing humanitarian crises worldwide, of which $20 million has been allocated to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, nearly fifty-six humanitarian aid programs have been stopped in Afghanistan due to the ban on women’s employment and other interventions of the ruling Taliban. The reports suggest that insufficient funding and pause in aid programs are likely to cut off the provision of essential humanitarian support to nearly 10 million Afghans. The UN Food Program has appealed for urgent provision of funds required to feed millions of Afghans during the winter season. It is of utmost importance that the global community and Western nations must put aside their political differences, come forward and display their traditional generosity in helping poor Afghans, otherwise, no one could avert a grave human tragedy in Afghanistan.