Tuesday, February 7

Afghanistan: EU humanitarian aid package ‘not enough’, says International Crisis Group


UN Secretary General António Guterres warned earlier this week that the world must take action on Afghanistan, saying the country is “at a watershed moment.”

To help Afghanistan emerge from its crisis, the European Union announced on Tuesday that it will provide a renewed humanitarian aid package worth one billion euros to deal with the aftermath of the Taliban takeover.

The new package includes 300 million euros that had already been pledged to support the country’s civilian population, protect human rights and promote the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

The European Commission will now add an additional € 250 million for similar purposes.

“The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is becoming very serious,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said. “Representatives of international institutions at the United Nations have spoken of a true humanitarian catastrophe.”

Draghi emphasized that providing humanitarian aid does not mean granting political recognition to the Taliban. “But you have to act quickly,” he added.

“We need to prevent the economic collapse of the country, and this means immediately preventing the country’s payment system from collapsing, so that payments can no longer be made. In that case, it would be very difficult to even provide humanitarian assistance.”

Graeme Smith, senior Afghanistan consultant for the International Crisis Group, believes the aid package “is not enough.”

“No, it is not enough, and no one can really tell you how it is going to work, unfortunately,” Smith told Euronews.

“The international community was caught off guard when the Taliban captured the country on August 15, and they have been making it up on the fly ever since. In reality, it has never happened before that listed terrorists take over an entire country. “he added.

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The liquidity and currency crises, together with the closure of financing for development, have created a series of difficult problems for the international community to solve.

Will the international community be forced to recognize the Taliban?

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Taliban met with representatives of the EU and the United States in Doha.

Some informal talks had already taken place in the Qatari capital over the weekend, but only between the Taliban and the United States, their first face-to-face meeting since the Kabul takeover.

But for the international community to diplomatically recognize the Taliban, Smith believes it is “a separate thing.”

“All members of the international community have said that this will depend on how the Taliban behave in the coming months and years. They are not interested so much in what the Taliban say as in what they will do. The international diplomats gathered there in Doha has been raising these concerns about the situation of women and girls under Taliban rule. And those are the kind of broader issues that I think people will raise when they start talking about diplomatic recognition in the future. “


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