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The World Needs To Save Afghanistan’s Dying Children

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Afghanistan is going through a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented nature. The whole world is aware of the plight of the poverty-stricken Afghan citizens in the post-US withdrawal of forces. The poor Afghani people are crying for help, humanitarian organizations are pleading with countries to provide immediate financial and humanitarian assistance, while international bodies like the UN have failed to convince or bind the countries to provide such help.

To top it all, the US has confiscated half of the Afghan money held in American banks, on the pretext of compensation to the victims of 9/11. What a bizarre, selfish, and inhumane situation!

According to ‘Save the Children’ Afghanistan, this drastic humanitarian crisis could have been averted if the Afghan government was able to provide access to healthcare to the children. But since the American invasion, the country has been relying on foreign aid for running its economic issues, thus the handlers of the economy had remained more concerned with war spending than public spending.

In the recent data given by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, almost 23 million Afghans are facing acute hunger with 10 million on the verge of starvation. Moreover, almost 95% of people including children are malnourished and not able to eat enough food, while 97% of Afghans could plunge into extreme poverty by mid-2022. To tackle this issue, the UN has appealed to the donors to provide $4.44 billion to help 22 million Afghans but the response of the countries is disappointingly low.

The data is alarming and requires immediate and continuous international assistance which is disappointingly lacking right now. The recent Afghanistan Conference convened virtually in 2022 by the UN-Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and the third ministerial conference of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries hosted by China expressed serious concerns over the issue of malnutrition and hunger. The countries insisted on coordinated and urgent help to the Afghan government.

However, there are some reasons behind the lack of expediency to come forward to assist Afghanistan in this regard;

First, the international bodies and countries do not trust the Afghan government’s capability to properly distribute the funds to the people. With the collapsed banking sector and lack of logistics facilities, the Taliban government might not be able to assist its people the way the donor agencies expect them to. Due to this, the UK and other countries pledged but then withdrew from coming forward to help as they did not trust the Afghan’s administrative and political system.

Second, there is no guarantee of accountability for the given amount. The countries would expect clear and open coordination with the Afghan government regarding the spending of economic aid. Since many Western and European countries are not on good terms with the Taliban regime, they remain reluctant to come forward to help as they doubt the accountability mechanisms of the country.

To bring in a ray of hope, the neighboring countries like Pakistan, China, Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have come forward to discuss the issue and create mechanisms to provide help to the dying Afghans. The OIC has been mobilized by the Pakistani government the previous year for this issue which successfully created a separate funding system for the Afghans. However, much still needs to be done.

The world needs to consider humanity over political conflicts and egoist policies.

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