KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The international community and the Taliban must find a way to deal with each other in order to stabilize Afghanistan, said the head of the UN refugee agency on Tuesday.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Filippo Grandi said the world is facing a difficult decision. He said it had to make up for the danger that an isolated Afghanistan would sink into violence and chaos against the political minefield that would represent the support of a Taliban-led government.
“The international community will have to weigh pragmatism, the need to keep Afghanistan stable and viable, and the political considerations that would mean to support a Taliban-led government,” Grandi said.
The Taliban overthrew the US-backed government of Afghanistan on August 15. They have been criticized internationally for having formed a transitional government made up entirely of Taliban members, even though they promised more inclusion. Governments around the world have declared that they will not recognize Afghanistan’s new rulers until a more inclusive government is in place.
Grandi said a compromise was urgently needed to avoid an economic collapse that could cause violence and chaos that would spark mass exodus. A collapse of the already fragile Afghan economy would engulf Afghanistan’s neighbors and spread across the world, he said.
“It’s urgent. This is not one of those development issues that you can discuss for five years before reaching a deal, but it requires compromise on all sides,” he said. “I think the international community is making some of its stricter ones Rules for working with governments must adapt … and the Taliban will also have to make compromises. “
Grandi said he met with Taliban ministers and found that they had listened. They have conversations among themselves, suggesting that some may be open to an approach that is less harsh and less restrictive than their previous rule, he said. However, he added that they will be judged on their actions.
The task of meeting Afghanistan’s humanitarian needs is supported worldwide, he said, as shown by the US $ 1.2 billion raised by the UN on Monday.
Grandi said humanitarian aid needs to be delivered quickly to feed and protect people, noting that winter is fast approaching.
While the world is united to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, the logistical challenge in a country that does not even have a functioning banking system is enormous. Every day, thousands of people gather in front of banks in the Afghan capital, hoping for an opportunity to withdraw the $ 200 they are allowed to withdraw every week.
The UN has warned that by the end of the year 97% of Afghans will be living below the poverty line.
More than 3.5 million people have been displaced by the fighting in recent years, and more than half a million in the last month alone. Many live in makeshift camps in parks in the Afghan capital. Dozens of families seek shelter under tattered sheets stretched over ropes.
In Shahr-e-Now-Park in Kabul, 63 families live in miserable conditions, many of the children are sick and the only portable bathroom has long since exceeded the capacity limit. Women wash behind a foul-smelling curtain.
Conditions will only get worse as winter approaches, said Grandi, who is working hard to provide shelter.
“This political, military crisis, this change of government, hit the entire population at the worst possible moment after years of uncertainty,” said Grandi. “That is why it is so difficult to tackle now.”
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