Afghanistan dispatches: ‘if the international community does not take any steps now, it will be too late to manage the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan’
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Afghanistan dispatches: ‘if the international community does not take any steps now, it will be too late to manage the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan’

JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a Staff Correspondent for JURIST in Kabul offers his latest observations and perspective on the looming humanitarian crisis in the country. For privacy and security reasons we are withholding his name and institutional affiliation. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

Eight children died recently in the west of Kabul due to hunger and starvation. These children had no guardian and were living in an empty house. A religious leader who has buried all of these children told local media that the children were aged between eleven and three years old and that their neighbors used to provide them with food and other necessities.

The children included four girls and four boys who recently lost their parents due to sickness. The owner of the houses where the children were living said that when he wanted to invite the children for breakfast, but found them dead. The Taliban have made no official statement concerning this incident.

Recently, the international community as well as the IMF, World Bank and some other entities have stated that nearly 90% of the people of Afghanistan live in poverty. Many people have lost their jobs and many have left the country. Taliban border police and Iranian officials have stated that nearly 6,000 young people leave Afghanistan on a daily basis.

UNDP in one of its reports warns that by mid 2022, 97 percent of Afghanistan population is at risk of sinking below the poverty line. The UNDP report recommends that immediate measures be taken to be able to prevent humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s economic crisis intensified when US/NATO forces started theiur withdrawal from the country. There were almost 68K foreign companies and contractors actively working in Afghanistan which are now all out. Beside these contractors many domestic companies also left when they saw their assets and lives at risk. As a result, thousands of Afghans lost their jobs in the private sector and thousands of public servants left due to insecurity and threats they faced from the Taliban.

Over the past year poverty and the unemployment rate has increased as a result of prolonged drought and the adverse effects of the COVID-19. These crises are in their high rate at the moment due to the political transition which has led to a freeze of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves, finance collapse, and a weak banking system.

The Taliban should plan to assist small and medium-sized enterprises, women-led businesses, children, people with disabilities, and those who lost their jobs – either financially and/or non-financially. The problem is that the current government has no plan and also is not capable of managing the crisis. The international community is also concerned about who will  provide cooperation and assistance if they cannot directly enter into any sort of relationship with the Taliban. But if the international community does not take any steps now, it will be too late to manage the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.