Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
December 22, 2021
The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan as the war-torn country teeters on the brink of a humanitarian crisis after Taliban militants seized power in August.
The resolution, approved unanimously on December 22, says the “payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities are permitted.”
The U.K. mission to the UN said in a tweet that the “resolution will help save lives by ensuring that 1988 sanctions regime poses no obstacle to provision of humanitarian assistance.”
“This directly responds to what the humanitarian community told us they need,” it added.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the international community has refused to recognize the militia as the new rulers. It has urged the militants to establish an inclusive government and to ensure the fundamental human rights of all Afghans.
Key global donors have blocked most of their aid to the country and reserves of the Afghan central bank held abroad were also frozen.
The UN resolution says that the freeing up of humanitarian assistance supports “basic human needs in Afghanistan” and is “not a violation” of sanctions imposed on entities linked to the Taliban.
A World Food Program (WFP) survey last week showed that an estimated 98 percent of Afghans are not eating enough, with 7-in-10 families resorting to borrowing food, which pushes them deeper into poverty.
Prices for food, fuel, and other basics have been rising, putting them out of reach for many people, and pressure on the Afghan currency has made the impact worse.
Earlier this month, the World Bank said donors had approved the transfer of $280 million from a frozen trust fund to two aid agencies to help Afghanistan respond to its humanitarian crisis.
During the 1996-2001 Taliban rule of Afghanistan, the militants banned women and girls from education and public life, mandated beards for men and attendance at prayers, banned sports and entertainment, and carried out public executions.
With reporting by AFP
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