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Norwegian Refugee Council Insists, Afghanistan Must Get Funding

Oct. 15, 2021 (EIRNS)—Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, published an op-ed three days ago in the New York Times, once again insisting that the West’s blockade of money to Afghanistan must end, now. “Unless money starts flowing soon, a total economic collapse will plunge Afghans into a humanitarian catastrophe.” Winter is coming, and soon, he warned!

The shock waves set off by the freezing of Afghanistan’s central bank reserves by the Biden administration after the Taliban takeover have created a situation where even his aid agency, well-established with the UN bureaucracy, “is unable to securely move aid money into the country to buy emergency supplies for families that face homelessness and hunger this winter. The banking crisis has left several Afghan banks closed and others operating at limited capacity.” His NRC is having trouble paying staff and suppliers in Afghanistan, and has been “forced to purchase tents, blankets and food in neighboring Pakistan. Now imagine this dilemma multiplied for every employer across Afghanistan,” he wrote.

He went after the pretext for maintaining the freeze, which was repeated yet again yesterday by State Department spokesman Ned Price: “Some countries and individual actors have suggested that the Taliban must meet certain conditions in exchange for funds. As a humanitarian organization, we do not advocate the conditionality of aid.... We need the international community to realize the urgency here: The economic crisis will only exacerbate humanitarian needs....

“Whether we will succeed in our race against time to scale up before winter will depend not only on the Taliban’s willingness to turn their words into action but also on the international community.

“Trillions of dollars were spent over the past two decades on the war in Afghanistan that ended so monumentally when the United States evacuated, leaving some 40 million people to fend for themselves. While many were caught off guard by the rapid change of power, the international community cannot continue to stand idly by and watch the country’s free fall.”

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