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Taliban seeks greater role in distributing billions of funds from international aid

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The Taliban government wants to “coordinate billions of dollars in planned aid.” Meanwhile, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is seeking a  UN “emergency Afghan appeal.” The humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan is undoubtedly troubling, particularly for religious minority groups. Brown, along with many others, thinks that by pouring money into Afghanistan, the most needy will be aided by the Taliban. Yet the Taliban’s primary mission is to impose and enforce the Sharia. In so doing, women and religious minorities are severely abused, and are not likely to receive this “humanitarian aid.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in September that it was “impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities.” Guterres stated the obvious. It is likewise obvious that the Taliban cannot be trusted to use international funds strictly for humanitarian purposes, any more than Iran could be trusted with the billions it will receive as sanctions are lifted in hopes of a revived nuclear deal.

“Taliban seeking greater role in distribution of foreign aid,” Reuters, January 12, 2022:

KABUL, Jan 12 (Reuters) – The Taliban administration that seized control of Afghanistan proposed a joint body on Wednesday of its officials and international representatives to coordinate billions of dollars in planned aid.

It was not clear whether the United Nations and foreign governments would back any such agreement as it would constitute a stark increase in access to international funding by the Taliban, whose officials have been sidelined due to sanctions.

An abrupt withdrawal of foreign aid last year following the hasty U.S. exit and Taliban victory in August left Afghanistan’s fragile economy on the brink of collapse, with food prices rising rapidly and causing widespread hunger.

Western sanctions aimed at the Taliban also prevented the passage of basic supplies of food and medicine, although this has since eased after exemptions were passed by the U.N. Security Council and Washington in December.

On Tuesday, the United Nations asked donors for $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan in 2022 and the White House announced it would donate an extra $308 million.

“The goal of this committee is coordination on a higher level for facilitating humanitarian aids of the international community and to distribute aid for needy people,” Afghanistan’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi told a news conference in Kabul also attended by U.N. envoy Ramiz Alakbarov.

“We ask the international communities that they should use the government capacities for their aid goals.”

Foreign governments, facing warnings that millions could starve as the economic crisis intensifies, are ramping up humanitarian aid but are keen for it to remain free from government interference.

An Afghan finance ministry spokesman said that discussions would take place over the next 24 hours with the United Nations on the proposal for the joint body.

The U.N. Secretary General’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan Alakbarov told Reuters that U.N. agencies were already communicating their requirements to the Taliban over aid….

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