Afghanistan crisis


The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has clearly become untenable with the UN warning of an “acute” food shortages as approximately 22 million people there face drought driven by climate change on top of all the other problems caused by the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. The crisis is already dwarfing food shortages in other war-torn countries like Syria and Yemen. And the onset of the harsh Himalayan winter makes things even worse, of course, forcing a large part of the population to choose between migration, which is a very tall order for those at the very bottom of the food chain, and outright starvation. That’s not much of a choice for most people since a lot of them perish on the long march, mostly on foot, often through many feet of snow.
Though the departure of foreign troops and the return of the Taliban was always going to be chaotic, the country would not have been pushed to the brink of disaster so quickly had western countries, led by the US, not withheld Afghanistan’s aid and frozen its central bank’s assets abroad. This situation has prompted the World Food Program and UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation to observe that “We are on a countdown to catastrophe and if we don’t act now, we will have a total disaster on our hands.”
Still, governments in the American and European continents are unwilling to reconsider their collective decision; as if to punish the people of Afghanistan for the failure of the occupying forces.
If this goes on, not only will there really be a historic and unfortunate humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan, just as everybody is warning, but the Taliban will also be forced to cultivate poppy and sell it on the black market; which means both Europe and America will also suffer. For all their alleged faults, the Taliban were able to bring poppy production down to zero during their last stint in power, perhaps for the first time in Afghanistan’s history. This time, too, they seem pretty sure about not cultivating the crop, at least not on a large scale, but if they are left high and dry to fend for their own, with no country recognising them or giving them any money, there’s no telling what they might do out of desperation. Besides, holding back funding does not hurt the Taliban as much as the ordinary, long-suffering, people of the country.
Perhaps the US and Co should at least clarify why they are pushing an entire country to the point of no return. Because their actions will lead to an unprecedented crisis in Afghanistan very soon. How will they justify their actions when thousands of people perish because of easily avoidable problems? Why are they punishing simple, poor people like this? And what will they achieve with all this?