NRC urges Afghan authorities, world to engage effectively

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has said Afghanistan’s de facto authorities and the international community’s unwillingness to engage effectively have pushed millions of Afghans into despair.

On the eve of the regime change anniversary in Afghanistan, the NRC Country Director Neil Turner in a statement said: “We have witnessed shocking levels of poverty and suffering in Afghanistan over the past year. The economic restrictions imposed on the country and the unwillingness of both the de facto authorities and the international community to effectively engage with one another have pushed millions of Afghans into despair.

“The families we meet are in crippling debt, facing an ever-increasing pressure on their household budgets. For a staggering number of people, money can no longer buy enough food to survive. Humanitarian efforts are not enough to put an end to the crisis. Frontline actors have done all in their power to provide emergency support to the affected populations and mitigate the situation.

“Yet one year on, Afghanistan stands at a precipice, with its people being punished for the Taliban’s takeover of the country. Despite repeated calls from humanitarian actors, nothing seems to have changed. Afghanistan’s foreign reserves remain frozen, the Afghan Central Bank is still not functional, and development assistance remains withdrawn.

“The international community must acknowledge the humanitarian impact of the economic measures imposed one year ago and step up to address the drivers of the crisis. Without a swift response to the current near economic collapse, including viable development assistance, support to key state infrastructure and fully funded emergency appeals, ordinary Afghans will continue to pay the highest price for the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.”