PESHAWAR: The Amnesty International has called for immediate lifting of economic sanctions on Afghanistan, saying that it has hampered the provisions of health services, food and other basic necessities of life. The Amnesty also urged for stepping up humanitarian aid to avert catastrophe in Afghanistan.
Taliban-led Afghanistan is facing serious economic problems and the international agencies have warned of looming humanitarian crisis. The United Nations has earlier warned that Afghanistan’s 97% population will face starvation in the next few months.
Afghanistan’s assets of about $10 billion are currently frozen by the United States and other financial institutions. The Taliban has said that they can avert the crisis if the country was provided its financial resources. Now, Amnesty International has also said that blocking assets, the reduction of international aid and the sanctions imposed on the Taliban have plunged Afghanistan into an economic crisis.
Similarly, the United Nations has said that Afghanistan needs $200 million a month to prevent the disasters. More than $1 billion in aid was pledged to Afghanistan at the recent UN special session in Geneva, as well as at the G-20 summit. But Amnesty International said the aid is yet to reach Afghanistan. “If Afghanistan’s frozen assets weren’t restored, there could be a humanitarian catastrophe in next few months.”
After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on 15 August, the Taliban have repeatedly called on the United States and the international community to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets. The group has acknowledged that without these assets, they would not be able to provide the necessary humanitarian relief to war-weary Afghans.
The United States and other countries have not yet responded to the Taliban’s request, but have said they are ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Before the Amnesty International’s warning, the United Nations has warned that if Afghanistan’s banking system was not revived, it would collapse in a matter of months.