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Afghanistan’s Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis Hits Deaf Western Ears

Aug. 19, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Two years after the U.S. left Afghanistan, over half the country’s population are at the mercy of aid organizations, the funding for the aid is around one-third of the aid budget, and almost 220 domestic and international organizations have shut their doors. The one biggest factor is the West’s decision to freeze over $9 billion of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves.

In Kabul, TOLOnews’ review of Afghanistan’s economy over the last two years shows the ongoing impact of the West’s freezing of over $9 billion of its assets, in particular in the increase of unemployment and poverty. Then on Feb. 11, 2022, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that designates $3.5 billion of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves to be used instead for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. (Since the U.S. holds about $7 billion of the $9 billion of Afghanistan’s reserves, this amount comprised about half.) Even some of the relatives of the 9/11 victims protested against this travesty.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning summed it at her Sept. 15, 2022 press conference:

“These assets of the Afghan central bank frozen by the U.S. are the national property of Afghanistan and the life-saving money of the Afghans. They should have been returned to Afghanistan in full at once, should have been handled independently by Afghanistan itself and should have been used to improve people’s livelihood and advance peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan without hindrance. We call on the U.S. side to fully unfreeze the assets and lift unilateral sanctions on the country as soon as possible, take concrete actions to fulfill its primary responsibility for Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction and show accountability to the world.”

Almost a year later, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN’s Secretary-General, reported in his Aug. 4, 2023 briefing:

“On Afghanistan, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warns that aid operations in the country face a critical funding gap as humanitarian needs remain severe. More than halfway through the year, the $3.2 billion appeal to help more than 21 million people across the country [of 40 million people] is less than 25% funded.”

Thus, at around 60% of the calendar year, at least $1.9 billion should have been available.

“There are critical funding gaps amounting to $1.3 billion, with many programs already ended or considerably scaled back due to insufficient resources and aid pipelines at risk of imminent rupture, including for food assistance. Our humanitarian colleagues warn that we only have a short window of opportunity to procure and position vital assistance and supplies before the lean season and winter begin.”

Translation for the hearing impaired in the West: Nobody in Afghanistan needs to have their pronouns lined up correctly.

Much damage has been done, much more is about to occur, if Western attitudes remain stuck in the mud.

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