Afghan economic crisis deepens with end of air transport | WGN 720 radio
Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) – Hundreds of Afghanistan protested outside Kabul’s banks on Saturday, warning UN agencies that the worsening drought could require millions in humanitarian aid.
Thousands of people gathered at Kabul airport in hopes of fleeing the country after a suicide bombing on Thursday killed 169 Afghans and 13 US servicemen and warned of further attacks. .. The large-scale US-led airlift is ending, and many Western countries have completed their own evacuation efforts before Tuesday’s deadline.
The economic crisis that preceded the Taliban takeover earlier this month will allow the new Afghan leadership to form a moderate and inclusive government and allow people to leave after the planned withdrawal of US forces on August 31. This encourages and has the potential to empower Western countries.
Afghanistan relies heavily on international aid, which covers around 75% of the Western-backed government budget. The Taliban have said they want good relations with the international community and have promised a milder form of Islamic rule than when they last ruled the country, but many Afghans are deeply skeptical.
Protesters at the Bank of New Kabul included many officials demanding salaries, but they said they had not been paid in the past three to six months. They said no one was able to withdraw the money, even though the bank reopened three days ago. ATMs are still in operation, but withdrawals are limited to around $ 200 every 24 hours, helping to form long lines.
Meanwhile, UN agencies have warned that worsening drought threatens the lives of more than 7 million people. A Rome-based food and agriculture organization said Afghans were also suffering from a coronavirus pandemic and an expulsion from recent fighting.
Earlier this month, the United Nations World Food Program estimated that around 14 million people (about one in three Afghanistan) were in urgent need of food assistance.
The FAO said significant support is needed ahead of the winter wheat planting season, which begins in a month’s time in many areas. So far, funding only covers the support of 110,000 families and about 1.5 million families need help, officials said, and current returns are expected to be 20% lower than in the last year. Added.
President Joe Biden has said he will meet a voluntary August 31 deadline to withdraw all U.S. troops. The Taliban, who control almost all of the country outside of Kabul airport, refused any extension.
Italy said the last evacuation flight landed in Rome, but will continue to work with the United Nations and countries bordering Afghanistan to help Afghanistan leave the country in cooperation with units military.
“Our duty must not abandon the Afghan people, especially women and children,” said Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. He said 4,890 Afghans had been evacuated by the Italian Air Force on 87 flights, but did not say how many more were still eligible.
The Taliban encouraged the Afghans to stay in the country and promised amnesty to those who fought them. They said commercial flights will resume after the US pulls out, but it is not clear whether the airlines are willing to provide the service.
The United States and its allies have said they will continue to provide humanitarian assistance through the United Nations and other partners, but broader participation, including development assistance, may depend on Taliban commitment to more moderate governance. Very sexual.
When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan, they imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law of 1996 on the US-led invasion in 2001. Women were mostly trapped in their homes, television and music was prohibited and criminal suspects were injured or executed in public.
This time around, the Taliban say women are allowed to go to school and work outside the home. They have negotiated with former Afghan officials in government and say they want a “comprehensive and Islamic government”.
However, there are reports of human rights violations in areas under Taliban control, even though the group’s supreme leaders speak more moderately. It is not known whether the fighter is acting under command or alone.
Taliban fighters beat a cameraman for the commercial channel ToloTV in Kabul earlier this week. Saad Mohseni, CEO of the group that owns the channel, said the Taliban were in contact with station officials about the incident. He said the fighter had been identified, but it is not known whether he was disciplined. There was no comment from the Taliban.
Fayez reported from Istanbul and Klaus from Jerusalem. Contributed by Associated Press writer Francis Demilio of Rome and Kathy Gannon of Islamabad.
Details of AP’s coverage in Afghanistan: https: //apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
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