Photo Credit: CNN
One of the many ladies who laboriously travel daily in search of alms is Shakeela Rahmati. Shakeela resides in a community perched high above the Kabul region.
She travels to the closest city on a three-hour walk with other women. The ladies hope for the best with every journey—that they will be able to feed their families when they get home.
Shakeela and her partners have no assurance that they will achieve their goals because it depends on the number of customers that frequent the bakery where the ladies have set up to wait for alms. Unfortunately, only a few establishments in Kabul let women solicit alms from customers, including a specific bakery in the city.
“Sometimes we eat dinner, sometimes we don’t. The situation has been bad for three years, but this last year was the worst. My husband tried to go to Iran to work, but he was deported,” Shakeela said.
According to the United Nations, acute hunger affects half of Afghanistan. In addition, 90% of Afghans cited food as their most basic need in a research published in May by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which found that 43% of the population only consumes one meal daily. Afghans claim that the Taliban’s first impacts, which seriously harmed the nation’s economy and administration, are to blame for the dire circumstances of the nation.
The Taliban imposed commercial and foreign policy sanctions and the freezing of approximately $9 billion in central bank funds. Eighty percent of Afghanistan’s annual budget comprises international aid, which was obstructed while the Taliban were in power.
Afghanistan is isolated from the world under Taliban rule
In one of its announcements, the Taliban regime stated that it wanted to have friendly and peaceful relations with the rest of the world. However, many believe that the Taliban party in power is not living up to its promise because the nation’s actual circumstances indicate the contrary.
Many foreign finances are frozen one year after the Taliban took control of the nation. Additionally, the Afghan government is facing criticism for its policies that have disenfranchised minorities and women. For instance, secondary education for girls has been outlawed by the government.
Although the government has stated that it will end the policy, this has not happened yet. Moreover, the Taliban’s top leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, added insult to injury by declaring that the group will establish its own rules. Experts claim that this is pushing back against global interactions.
“The fact of the matter remains that the United States is trying to find moral justifications for the collective punishment of the people of Afghanistan, by freezing the assets and by levying sanctions on Afghanistan as a whole,” said Abdul Qahar, the foreign ministry spokesperson.
“I do not believe that, that any conditions should be stipulated on the release of funds that do not belong to me, that did not belong to the previous administration, that did not belong to the governments before it. This is the collective money of the people of Afghanistan,” he added.
The US still wants to help Afghanistan
Even with the Afghan government’s obvious resistance to receiving aid from other nations, the US nonetheless contributed $1 billion in assistance via the World Bank.
“That’s an example of an area where we’re going to want to continue to have pragmatic dialogue with the Taliban. “We’re going to talk to them about humanitarian aid access, about measures that we believe can enhance the country’s macroeconomic stability,” stated a senior State Department official.
The investment and ongoing support provided by the US to Afghanistan should benefit its people. However, many economists and analysts argue that it is insufficient due to the Taliban’s policies, which include blocking its funds and international help.
“These policies are putting women at risk here. In the name of feminist policies, we are seeing women die of hunger,” stated the International Rescue Committee director in Afghanistan, Vicki Aken.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.