The Afghan Donors’ Dilemma: How to Fight Poverty … and Not Help the Taliban

0
35

There is no shortage of urgent warnings, led by the United Nations, on the threats looming this winter for the Afghan people: food insecurity for more than half of the population, millions of children under 5 at risk of acute malnutrition. “A countdown to catastrophe,” in the words of David Beasley, head of the United Nations World Food Program.

Yet politicians find it unpleasant to resume massive Western aid to a country re-ruled by the Taliban, which has been on the official US and European terrorist lists for years. So far the White House has not authorized the release of $ 9.5 billion of Afghan Central Bank funds, most of it held by the US Federal Reserve.

Why did we write this?

The winter is bringing a wave of hardship for Afghans, posing a moral dilemma for foreign aid donors who are wary of indirectly helping the Taliban. The urgency is forcing some to seek creative solutions.

Already the Afghans who have lost their jobs and homes are running out of savings they had. Street markets are filled to the brim as people desperately try to sell household items for cash.

Western donors face “a vicious political dilemma,” writes Dr. Erica Gaston of the United Nations University in a recent analysis.

Reduce sanctions, release funds and acknowledge that the Taliban “risk giving away carrots and sticks that could otherwise be used to induce better behavior,” he writes. However, failing to stop the crisis “could lead to the collapse of the state [and] the immediate suffering of millions of people “.

LONDON

With their high hopes a year ago that decades of war in Afghanistan would soon be over, they named their newborn daughter Peace.

Rafiullah Arman was an Afghan state TV reporter and enjoyed playing the traditional rubab lute for friends. His wife, Khalida, also worked as a journalist.

The Americans had signed a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban that promised peace talks, and life was good.

Why did we write this?

The winter is bringing a wave of hardship for Afghans, posing a moral dilemma for foreign aid donors who are wary of indirectly helping the Taliban. The urgency is forcing some to seek creative solutions.

Peace, in fact, has now arrived. Not long ago, “more than 100 funerals were held every day; no one imagined that the sound of gunfire would disappear across the country in a week, “says Mr. Arman. The aspiration in the name of the daughter has been realized.

But the Taliban’s lightning-fast victory in August also brought enormous hardship to the young family, as it did for millions of Afghans who now face a perfect storm of hunger, poverty and economic meltdown as winter approaches under Taliban rule.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here