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Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis deepens amid economic downturn: UNICEF

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The discussions in Doha, Qatar, covered the need for safe passage of U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghan partners, State Department spokesman Ned Price said. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Despite the differing opinions on the impact of aid, he urged the continuation of assistance from aid organisations (Photo: Bloomberg)

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has worsened due to the economic crisis, according to a report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) covering the period from August 2021 to March 2023, TOLO News reported.

The report highlights that the economic downturn has led to an increased demand for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

Economic expert Abdul Nasir Reshtia expressed scepticism about the effectiveness of such aid, emphasising the need for development projects to address poverty and unemployment in the country, as reported by TOLO News.

In contrast, the Taliban-controlled Ministry of Economy attributes the rise in poverty to international sanctions.

Deputy Minister of Economy Abdul Latif Nazari, cited frozen assets, banking restrictions, and commercial constraints as factors contributing to the country’s economic challenges.

“The sanctions imposed on the people of Afghanistan, the assets of the Afghanistan people that have been frozen, and the banking and commercial restrictions that have been imposed in violation of international law, are the main factors of the spread of poverty in Afghanistan,” he said.

Despite the differing opinions on the impact of aid, he urged the continuation of assistance from aid organisations.

UNICEF’s projections for 2024 indicate that 23.3 million people, including 12.6 million children, will require humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

The complex interplay of economic challenges, international sanctions, and the ongoing need for aid underscores the multifaceted nature of the crisis facing the Afghan population, TOLO News reported.

It’s worth noting that the Taliban administration has disputed the UN report and has emphasised the importance of children’s rights in the country.

Meanwhile, as poverty grows in Afghanistan, the number of youngsters, seen working on the streets in the country has seen a drastic increase, raising concerns among human rights and children’s organisations.

Since the Taliban seized power, Afghanistan has become one of the worst places to live, especially for children whose fundamental rights are being compromised amid the strict rules and regulations of the de facto authorities.

Following the sanction by the international community on the Taliban, as it took control, the country has faced financial, acute humanitarian, and human rights crises.

Following the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021 and their crackdown on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls, Afghan women have been leading miserable lives.

Girls are banned from education beyond sixth grade, including university, and women are barred from most jobs and public spaces.

First Published: Dec 29 2023 | 7:12 AM IST


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