July 2, 2022

UN Security Council to grant humanitarian aid to Taliban Afghanistan

The UN Security Council on Wednesday, December 22, unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by the United States which facilitates humanitarian aid for one year to Afghanistan, on the verge of economic collapse, by hoping the Taliban won’t take advantage of it.

The resolution states that “The payment of funds, of financial assets” like “The provision of necessary goods and services” To answer to the “Basic human needs in Afghanistan” are “Authorized” and “Do not constitute a violation” sanctions imposed on entities linked to the Taliban.

“This humanitarian exception aims to facilitate aid to the Afghan people, but it is not a blank check for organizations that violate their international obligations”, said Deputy US Ambassador to the UN, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, referring to the Taliban.

“This is a good step, we appreciate it, because it can help the economic situation in Afghanistan”, reacted Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, adding hope that “The process is accelerating” to allow the lifting of economic sanctions against entities linked to the Taliban.

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“The current situation in Afghanistan is critical”

The adoption of this text represents a first step for the United Nations with regard to Afghanistan, led since August by the Taliban, whose regime has not yet been recognized by the international community. It aims to reduce the risk of an influx of refugees fleeing poverty to countries neighboring Afghanistan and to address a need for increased assistance, as noted by the United States.

Unlike a previous version of the text which provided for exemptions from sanctions limited to case by case – which China failed on Monday – the adopted resolution covers the provision of humanitarian aid in the broad sense.

“The current situation in Afghanistan is critical” and “The humanitarian crisis must be resolved as soon as possible”, said Chinese Ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun. “Humanitarian aid should not be conditional and should not be politicized”, he added, rejecting any “Arbitrary condition”.

Control of the destination of humanitarian aid

In an attempt to ensure that aid will go to the Afghans and that the Taliban will not benefit from it, the resolution calls for a review of the basic humanitarian relief exemption after twelve months. China said on Wednesday that it did not consider, despite this mention, the authorization to expire in a year. During the negotiations, France and India for their part insisted that the duration of the resolution be only six months, but without succeeding in making Washington bend, according to diplomats.

“This exemption is intended to immediately provide support to the Afghan people who desperately need it. Nothing more “, hammered, for his part, the Ambassador of Ireland, Geraldine Byrne Nason, recalling that the Taliban still do not follow international demands in terms of respect for human rights.

“If there is evidence that the exemption is being abused or that money is reaching sanctioned people, it is possible to go back”, assures a diplomat on condition of anonymity. The resolution “Strongly encourages suppliers” humanitarian aid to “Minimize any benefit” direct or obtained through the back door for persons or entities subject to international sanctions.

In Afghanistan, aid workers may be required to conduct financial transactions with ministries headed by sanctioned individuals, and the resolution ensures that they do not find themselves in a position of violation of sanctions. This text also includes a check on the destination of humanitarian aid within two months of its distribution, as well as a UN report on the operation of the aid every six months.

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“Save the Afghan people”

For UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths, “The need for liquidity” in Afghanistan has become « urgent ». It’s about ” not only [de] save the Afghan people but also [de] enable humanitarian organizations to act ”, he recently argued.

After the Taliban returned to power, the United States froze nearly $ 9.5 billion from the Afghan Central Bank and the World Bank also suspended aid to Kabul. On Wednesday, Russia demanded, in this regard, “A thaw of assets and financial resources” stranded in the West.

On December 10, the World Bank announced the disbursement before the end of December of humanitarian aid of 280 million dollars to Unicef ​​and the World Food Program, destined for Afghanistan, these UN agencies being responsible for distributing these funds.

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The World with AFP