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Afghanistan: Taliban looks to have bigger role in foreign aid distribution
Previous reports have warned that Afghanistan is in dire need of humanitarian aid as it faces a major crisis. The Taliban that has taken control of the country is now seeking to have a bigger role in distributing humanitarian aid to Afghans.
The insurgent group has proposed a joint body made up of its officials and international representatives to coordinate in distributing billions of dollars in humanitarian aid from other countries. It remains to be determined if the United Nations and other foreign governments would agree to such a proposal as it would mean that the group would have increased access to international funding.
Following the withdrawal of the US and other forces from Afghanistan in August 2021, Afghanistan’s economy faced a bigger risk of collapse with rising food prices leading to widespread hunger. Sanctions imposed on the Taliban by the West have also halted the transport of basic supplies. The sanctions were eased following the exemptions passed by the UN Security Council and the US back in December.
This week Tuesday, the UN has asked donors for $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan in 2022. The White House also recently announced it would be sending $308 million in additional aid. Foreign governments, who have been warned of Afghanistan’s looming crisis, are ramping up efforts to bring humanitarian aid yet sought to keep it free from the Taliban-backed government’s interference.
The spokesman for the Afghanistan finance ministry said discussions would happen in the next 24 hours with the UN over the proposal for the joint body.
In the midst of a humanitarian crisis, Afghanistan has also been affected by attacks in the form of bombings in several places. An explosion took place in eastern Afghanistan close to the border it shares with Pakistan. The explosion killed around nine children and injured four others.
A statement from the Nangarhar province office of the governor revealed that the blast happened Monday when a cart selling food hit an unexploded mortar shell in Baiganan village in the district of Lalopar. The children who were wounded were rushed to the regional hospital in the province’s capital Jalalabad for treatment.