aliban fighters pose for photos as they ride rental horses during a snowfall on Lake Qargha in Kabul on January 3, 2022. Mohd RASFAN / AFP
- Afghanistan has been in financial chaos since the Taliban took control in August.
- Bad weather prompted the Taliban to appeal for help.
- No country has yet officially recognized the Taliban government.
The Taliban on Friday appealed for emergency humanitarian aid without “political bias,” saying recent snowfall and flooding had worsened the plight of the Afghan people.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in mid-August, the country has plunged into financial chaos, with soaring inflation and unemployment.
Billions of dollars in the country’s assets have been frozen by the United States, while aid supplies have been severely disrupted.
Global aid agencies have warned that more than half of Afghanistan’s 38 million people are expected to face hunger this winter.
In a video call, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar said the world has an obligation to help.
“In various places right now, people don’t have food, shelter, warm clothes or money,” Baradar said.
“The world must support the Afghan people without political bias and fulfill their humanitarian obligations.
Snow has blanketed much of central and northern Afghanistan in recent days, while flooding has affected parts of the south.
Many Afghans are struggling to afford heating, as the country regularly experiences power outages.
Baradar said the weather had worsened the “already sensitive situation” of the Afghan people, adding that the Taliban were ready to help distribute international aid across the country.
“We call on the international community, NGOs and all countries not to forget our poor,” Baradar said in what was the first direct appeal by a senior Taliban official to address the worsening humanitarian crisis.
Kabul, which has not seen regular snowfall for years, was blanketed in a thick blanket of snow on Friday, affecting air and road traffic and forcing businesses to close their doors.
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No country has yet officially recognized the Taliban government, and diplomats face the delicate task of channeling aid into the struggling economy without supporting die-hard Islamists.
In December, however, Muslim nations decided to work with the United Nations to try to unlock frozen assets, mostly held in the United States.
The special meeting of the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was the largest conference on Afghanistan since the fall of the previous US-backed government in August and the return of the Taliban to power.
Also in December, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by the United States to help humanitarian aid reach desperate Afghans, while seeking to keep funds out of the hands of the Taliban. .
This resolution was welcomed by the Taliban authorities as a “good step”.
The Security Council resolution allows aid to reach the country for a year without violating international sanctions aimed at isolating the Taliban.
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