Has U.N. stopped cash Humanitarian aid to Afghanistan?

Surinder Singh Oberoi
09 Jan 2023
Has U.N. stopped cash Humanitarian aid to Afghanistan?

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New Delhi: Reports in the local media of Afghanistan reveal that misusing funds by the ruling Taliban, the Humanitarian cash aid to Afghanistan, was temporarily stopped.

NewsDrum analysis reported last week that allegedly the ruling Taliban is abusing Humanitarian aid. Millions of dollars are flown into Kabul every week in the name of Humanitarian assistance by the United States and the United Nations, and other international organizations for distribution across the country as humanitarian catastrophe grips tighter in winter months.

Tolo news agency reported that "a former member of the Afghan Central Bank's supreme council, Shah Mehrabi, said that since mid-December 2022, United Nations flights have stopped transferring cash aid to Afghanistan as part of humanitarian assistance."

"The suspension of humanitarian aid coupled with a halt of bank transfer in freezing of $7 billion of Afghanistan reserves will cause an increase in prices and pause in payment of education sector and health worker," Mehrabi added.

"As a result of higher prices, many women, orphans, and other ordinary Afghans will not be able to afford bread, flour and cooking oil and pay for other basic needs," Mehrabi said that the suspension of cash aid would affect the stability of the Afghan currency.

In a statement, the Da Afghanistan Bank denied the suspension of humanitarian aid packages to Afghanistan without giving any details.

Political analysts said that the aid was suspended in reaction to the Islamic Emirate's decision to suspend university access for women and girls and ban women from working in NGOs.

U.N., in late December 2022, said that "members of the Security Council are deeply alarmed by reports that the Taliban have suspended access to universities for women and girls, and reiterated their deep concern of the suspension of school beyond the sixth grade.

The UNSC called for the "full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan, and called on the Taliban to reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which represent an increasing erosion of the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Regarding the women ban in NGOs, the members of the Security Council said, "we are furthermore profoundly concerned by reports that the Taliban have banned female employees of non-governmental organizations and international organizations from going to work, which would have a significant and immediate impact for humanitarian operations in the country."

The press release issued by the United Nations Security Council alerted the Afghanistan government that" United Nations, work will have an impact and the delivery of aid and health work without women force in work."

The UNSC also reminded the Taliban government that "these restrictions contradict the commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people, as well as the expectations of the international community.

According to the U.N., about 70 per cent of their programs are implemented in collaboration with NGOs, and international or local agencies, which they use to bring resources and essential services to the region.

Humanitarian workers say that more than 50 per cent of the Humanitarian aid work is being conducted by women, who go to the houses to meet women, who usually run the homes and meet their children too.

Meanwhile, U.N. deputy special envoy for Afghanistan, Markus Potzel, met the education minister this weekend and showed concern about banning women from attending universities.

Markus is the first international official to meet with a representative of the Afghani government in Kabul since the ban was imposed. Markus urged the government to lift the ban, allow women to have higher education, and continue their jobs in NGOs.

Minister of Higher Education Neda Mohammad Nadim, in a meeting with the U.N. deputy special envoy, said that the Islamic Emirate has not decided on an absolute ban on women's education but has postponed the issue due to external factors.

Nadim added that the Islamic Emirate does not accept anyone's demands through pressure.

The news agency said, "We are committed to the rights of all Afghan people in light of Sharia, and we want a good interaction with the entire world in the field of education. We ask the international community never to request from us that conflicts with Sharia," said Ziaullah Hashemi, the ministry's spokesman.

Agency for International Development's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance has brought total humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries to more than $1.1 billion since the Taliban takeover one year ago in August 2021.

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