China has announced a $31 million aid in grains, winter supplies, vaccines and medicines for Afghanistan. There’s no denying that Afghanistan is facing a massive humanitarian crisis in the wake of the US exit from that country. In fact, Afghanistan’s foreign reserves have been frozen by the US and the country has been cut off from international financial institutions like IMF and World Bank after the Taliban takeover. However, this has led to ordinary Afghans becoming extremely vulnerable with the UN appealing for $200 million in extra funding for lifesaving aid to Afghanistan. Afghan medics have not received their salaries in months and health centres are running out of medicines.
In fact, WHO has said that 90% of its 2,300 health clinics across Afghanistan risk closing imminently. Understandably, sending aid to Afghanistan has become complicated given that the new Taliban government comprises members who are officially sanctioned as terrorists. But the Afghan people should not be made to suffer because of the Taliban. Given that many Afghans, including women and youth, having been protesting for their rights under the new regime, the West and other democratic nations must find ways to help them obtain essentials.
The US has already said that it will work with NGOs to provide that aid to Afghans. This is a good idea as ordinary Afghans shouldn’t be made to rely solely on the Taliban for their welfare. On a larger point, given the announcement of Taliban’s new government that lacks inclusivity and again highlights the group’s disdain for women’s participation in public life, it is best to continue to draw a distinction between the Taliban regime and ordinary Afghans. The latter should not be abandoned by the international community, while the former should be made to conform to international human rights. Democracies must endeavour to strengthen ordinary Afghan voices.
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