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Do US-led sanctions exacerbate the problem in Afghanistan? | | Stories

International aid agencies and experts say US-led sanctions on the Taliban regime are hurting Afghan people, and have called for “direct pardon” in providing assistance to prevent “disaster”.

Follow-up Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on August 15, a dependent country was removed from international financial institutions, while about $ 10bn of its assets were held by the US, sparking a banking crisis.

Millions of dollars in aid of other countries have also been suspended due to sanctions.

The UN and other aid agencies have been trying to enforce sanctions on the country, with more than half of the 38 million people in Afghanistan facing starvation during the cold winter months.

“The US government, with its sanctions against organizations such as the UN Security Council (UNSC), must do everything in its power to ensure that Afghan people receive the assistance they need,” said Eileen McCarthy, the agency’s Advocacy Manager. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

“They must ensure that sanctions and other measures of mitigation are in line with international humanitarian and human rights standards and do not disrupt non-discriminatory activities,” he told Al Jazeera.

… You cannot catch all the people of Afghanistan.

Dominik Stillhart, ICRC

‘Human dangers can be avoided’

For more than 100 days under the Taliban regime, Afghanistan’s economy has taken off almost collapsed, which UN envoy to Afghanistan condemned financial sanctions. Deborah Lyons told UNSC last week that the “humanitarian crisis” in the country was “illegal”.

There have been alarming reports that public hospitals are unable to afford basic medical care or pay for staff, and families are offering their daughters in marriage for a living.

The Taliban government, which has not been recognized by any country or United Nations, has said so prohibited foreign currency among other ways to revive the economy, but the sudden stop of millions of dollars in aid movements halted banks and businesses and caused food and fuel prices to rise.

Although he blames the Taliban insurgency for its political refusal, experts say the Afghanistan crisis was the result of international sanctions, which cost millions of dollars to help the former West-backed Afghan government reach the Taliban Islamic Emirate. .

“The complete financial crisis in the Afghanistan system is due to the suspension of direct aid and the freezing of central bank funds after the departure of the international military,” said Dominik Stillhart, chief of staff at the International Committee of the Red Cross. (ICRC), referring to the withdrawal of NATO troops led by the US after 20 years of war.

“There is a political crisis … but you cannot arrest all the people of Afghanistan,” he said, noting that it would not be possible for the aid agency to operate in the country without the cooperation of government officials.

“If you want to provide or care for needs, you have to work with the system,” Stillhart told Al Jazeera.

Adam Weinstein, a researcher at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, admits: “It was one thing to control the Taliban when it was not a well-known government. But now they live in Kabul and the question is, ‘How do you run a business or provide support? ‘a country without touching the government?’

Relying on help

Sulaiman Bin Shah, who was Afghanistan’s deputy minister of industry and commerce until August 15, said Afghanistan’s economic collapse was a development that was expected because it relied heavily on international aid.

“Afghanistan has relied heavily on donations and donations over the past 20 years so much so that the economy has been projected,” said Bin Shah. “Now the money is gone.”

Weinstein, who also served as US naval officer in Afghanistan, said because the country’s weapons and wealth were built by Washington and other countries, he could not continue without them.

“Afghanistan is dependent on aid and 75 percent of government funding. This has made the country completely dependent on the international community ‘s desire to continue its aid,” he told Al Jazeera.

Recognizing the need to avoid retaliation in Afghanistan, the ICRC said it would continue to provide humanitarian assistance through “production mechanisms” to directly contribute to the health sector, education, and urban services.

“The solution we have found is to put payments into the pockets of 550,000 employees and pay administration costs instead of using the ministry,” Stillhart said, referring to 18 hospitals across the country that negotiate half a million dollars a month.

However, he also said that there is still much to be done, and called for “direct care in the UNSC administration that will allow us to provide assistance without fear of violating UN sanctions.”

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