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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Taliban urge US to show humanity, thank world for aid

Taliban urge US to show heart and thank the world for sending aid which they will use to alleviate poverty and bring life to Afghan ailing economy. The US and IMF claim that they will only release assets and funds if Taliban's actions reflect their words.

The Taliban urge US to show humanity and thank world for sending aid. On Tuesday, the new Afghan regime showed their appreciation to the world as they started sending in aid that could be used to pump back life to Afghan’s crippling and staggering economy and relief to people living below poverty line. The ruling group urged US to soften and show some degree of humanity and heart towards the impoverished country.

World sends aid to ailing Afghanistan

A donor conference in Geneva on Monday saw countries promise a total of $1.2 billion in aid for Afghanistan, which was taken over by the hardline Islamist group last month in a lightning offensive that took retreating US troops by surprise.

Afghanistan, already heavily dependent on aid, is facing an economic crisis, with the new authorities unable to pay salaries and food prices soaring.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the regime’s acting foreign minister, told a press conference the Taliban would spend donor money wisely and use it to alleviate poverty.

“The Islamic Emirate will try its best to deliver this aid to the needy people in a completely transparent manner,” Muttaqi said.

Read more: UN chief to host Afghanistan aid meeting in Geneva

Taliban urge US to show humanity while China fills the gap 

He also asked Washington to show appreciation for the Taliban allowing the US to complete a troop withdrawal and evacuation of more than 120,000 people last month.

“America is a big country, they need to have a big heart,” he said.

Muttaqi said Afghanistan, which is also facing a drought, had already received aid from countries such as Pakistan, Qatar and Uzbekistan, but did not give further details.

He said he had held discussions with China’s ambassador on the coronavirus vaccine and other humanitarian causes, with Beijing pledging $15 million which will be available “soon”.

Frozen assets as leverage?

Since the Taliban takeover, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have halted Afghanistan’s access to funding, while the United States has also frozen cash held in its reserve for Kabul.

UN chief Antonio Guterres on Monday said he believed aid could be used as leverage with the Islamist hardliners to exact improvements on human rights, amid fears of a return to the brutal rule that characterised the first Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001.

“It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities,” the UN secretary-general told ministers attending the Geneva talks.

“It is very important to engage with the Taliban at the present moment.”

Read more: UN to aid Taliban led Afghanistan

Taliban’s words and actions contradict

The Taliban have promised a milder form of rule this time around, but have moved swiftly to crush dissent, including firing in the air to disperse recent protests by women calling for the right to education and work.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said she was “dismayed by the lack of inclusivity of the so-called caretaker cabinet, which includes no women and few non-Pashtuns”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has previously warned that the Taliban would have to earn legitimacy and support, after talks with allies on how to present a united front.

The caretaker cabinet, he said, would be judged “by its actions”.

US to show humanity as Afghan humanitarian crisis looms

Meanwhile, Afghans are resorting to selling their household goods to raise money to pay for essentials, and bustling second-hand goods markets have mushroomed in most urban centres. In such state of plight where livelihoods are crushing, people are reduced to becoming ragmen and cash starts to dry up, Taliban urge US to show humanity and set aside their “conditional aid” ranting.

Ajmal Ahmady, former acting governor of the Afghan central bank, tweeted last week that the country no longer had access to around $9 billion in aid, loans and assets.

Read more: American based aid agencies reel after senseless acts of violence in Afghanistan