Taliban proposes joint teams to UN for foreign aid distribution

The Taliban has suggested the formation of joint teams, including their own officials, to the United Nations' agencies for the distribution of billions of dollars of aid that foreign governments are planning to send in Afghanistan to steeve off the escalating humanitarian crisis

Jan 13, 2022
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Taliban proposes joint teams to UN for foreign aid distribution (Photo: Yahoo)

The Taliban has suggested the formation of joint teams, including their own officials, to the United Nations' agencies for the distribution of billions of dollars of aid that foreign governments are planning to send in Afghanistan to steeve off the escalating humanitarian crisis. 

Aid organizations and donors are ready to provide aid but want to keep it beyond the control of the Taliban which has seized power in the country in August last year. With the group and many of its leaders still on the UN sanction list, no country has yet recognized its hardline regime. It remains to be seen whether the UN agrees to the Taliban request. 

“The goal of this committee is coordination on a higher level to facilitating humanitarian aid of international community and distribute aid for needy people,” Abdul Salam Hanafi, Taliban’s acting deputy prime minister, was quoted as saying by Reuters.  

The remark came after his meeting with UN Envoy Ramiz Alakzov. Earlier this week, the UN issued an appeal, seeking $4.4 billion in aid for Afghanistan for 2022. The aid program for Afghans will be the largest-ever humanitarian effort undertaken by the UN. [ Read More] 

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on Wednesday, Hanifi said, “We ask the international community that they should use the government capacity for their aid goals.” Donors and experts fear that the Taliban if given greater control, could use the opportunity to the discriminatory distribution of aid. 

Furthermore, the group has had a history of discriminating against non-Pashtun ethnic groups. The interim government announced by the Taliban remains almost all-male Pashtun, the ethnic that constitutes 45 percent of the population. [Read More]

Unable to access cash, the Taliban recently announced paying civil servants in food grains. Officials are giving wheat, from the stock donated earlier by India to the previous government, as salaries. This, however, raises more the question about conditioning the aid distribution with the work.  

Donors have been insisting aid distribution be transparent, non-discriminatory, and universal in nature.  

After coming to power, the hardline Islamist group has curtailed the freedom and rights of women. Thousands of women, earlier working in the government and NGOs, were barred from their jobs and told to remain at home. 

On the other hand, the aid agencies have been seeking unhindered access to their local Afghan aid workers, including women who form most of their workforce in the country.

(SAM)

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