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Taliban says US will provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

sammuel

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Taliban says US will provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan





ISLAMABAD (AP) — The U.S. has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to a desperately poor Afghanistan on the brink of an economic disaster, while refusing to give political recognition to the country’s new Taliban rulers, the Taliban said Sunday.

The statement came at the end of the first direct talks between the former foes since the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of August.

The U.S. statement was less definitive, saying only that the two sides “discussed the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people.”


The Taliban said the talks held in Doha, Qatar, “went well,” with Washington freeing up humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after agreeing not to link such assistance to formal recognition of the Taliban.

The United States made it clear that the talks were in no way a preamble to recognition of the Taliban, who swept into power Aug. 15 after the U.S.-allied government collapsed.

State Department spokesman Ned Price called the discussions “candid and professional,” with the U.S. side reiterating that the Taliban will be judged on their actions, not only their words.


“The U.S. delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society,” he said in a statement.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen also told The Associated Press that the movement’s interim foreign minister assured the U.S. during the talks that the Taliban are committed to seeing that Afghan soil is not used by extremists to launch attacks against other countries.

On Saturday, however, the Taliban ruled out cooperation with Washington on containing the increasingly active Islamic State group in Afghanistan.

IS, an enemy of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for a number of recent attacks, including Friday’s suicide bombing that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims. Washington considers IS its greatest terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan.

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“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said when asked whether the Taliban would work with the U.S. to contain the Islamic State affiliate. He used an Arabic acronym for IS.

Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who tracks militant groups, agreed the Taliban do not need Washington’s help to hunt down and destroy Afghanistan’s IS affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or ISKP.

The Taliban “fought 20 years to eject the U.S., and the last thing it needs is the return of the U.S. It also doesn’t need U.S. help,” said Roggio, who also produces the foundation’s Long War Journal. “The Taliban has to conduct the difficult and time-consuming task of rooting out ISKP cells and its limited infrastructure. It has all the knowledge and tools it needs to do it.”

The IS affiliate doesn’t have the advantage of safe havens in Pakistan and Iran that the Taliban had in its fight against the United States, Roggio said. However, he warned that the Taliban’s longtime support for al-Qaida make them unreliable as counterterrorism partners with the United States.

The Taliban gave refuge to al-Qaida before it carried out the 9/11 attacks. That prompted the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan that drove the Taliban from power.

“It is insane for the U.S. to think the Taliban can be a reliable counterterrorism partner, given the Taliban’s enduring support for al-Qaida,” Roggio said.

During the meeting, U.S. officials were expected to press the Taliban to allow Americans and others to leave Afghanistan. In their statement, the Taliban said without elaborating that they would “facilitate principled movement of foreign nationals.”



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sammuel

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and as if Afghanistan did not have enough trouble :

Afghanistan at risk of hunger amid drought and Taliban takeover


As the Taliban seizes control of Afghanistan, experts warn severe drought could worsen the humanitarian crisis triggered by an exodus of western forces







More than 10 million Afghans are facing acute food insecurity caused by prolonged drought as the Taliban seizes control of the country.

Experts say drought and severe water shortages have compounded instability and conflict in Afghanistan for decades and are worsening a humanitarian crisis precipitated by the withdrawal of US and allied troops.

Afghanistan is in the grips of its second drought in four years. Since 1950, Afghanistan’s average annual temperature has increased by 1.8C, according to the climate security expert network. Heavy rainfall events have increased by between 10-25% over the past 30 years.

14 million people, around 35% of Afghanistan’s population, were already facing acute food insecurity before the Taliban takeover, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Half of all Afghan children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov told Reuters last week that Afghans are facing a double threat: conflict and drought. “You have a kind of combination effect of displacement caused by war and by military hostilities compounded with displacement caused by drought and by the difficult economic conditions,” Alakbarov said.

Oli Brown, associate fellow at Chatham House, told Climate Home News that food insecurity will increase in the next few months as snow makes roads in parts of the country completely impassable. “Unless you have a working system of governance to provide a safety net before the snow comes in, people will get stuck,” he said.

Afghans have found themselves caught in a vicious cycle of climate change and conflict for over 40 years. “One creates conditions for the other,” said Brown. Water and land scarcity have increased community-level conflict, poverty and instability, which in turn have driven environmental degradation and the depletion of resources.


Climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense extreme events, such as droughts and flash flooding, to the country in upcoming decades. More frequent droughts could boost the drug economy as opium poppies flourish in warm, dry climates.

Opium poppies are drought-resistant, easy to grow and transport, according to Brown. “Where wheat fails, opium poppies often survive,” he said.

“Increased opium revenues continue to fuel armed opposition groups and encourage corruption among government officials,” said Janani Vivekananda, a senior advisor on climate change and peacebuilding at thinktank Adelphi.

Afghanistan’s climate plan, submitted to the UN in 2015, outlines that all the country’s 34 provinces are highly vulnerable to climate impacts, including drought, heatwaves and glacial lake melts. Water stress is a major concern as 80% of the country’s population relies on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods.


The climate plan said $2.5 billion was needed for watershed management and $4.5 billion for the restoration of irrigation systems by 2030. But investments in boosting water and climate resilience over the past decade have been insufficient, experts say.

Vivekananda said that this issue is likely to be “kicked into the long grass” as development aid is suspended and the immediate focus shifts to humanitarian aid. “It is incredibly critical that this is not seen as a long-term issue, but rather as a priority issue for stabilising the situation now,” she said.It underlies any hope of addressing the longer term humanitarian needs of the Afghanistan population.”

Brown said international partners, including the US, did invest in building new irrigation channels, but that it is unclear how many of these were properly maintained.

Improvements to irrigation systems in some cases increased poppy cultivation and opium production, according to a report by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR).


President Joe Biden has decided to finish evacuating US troops from Afghanistan by 31 August, an administration official said on Tuesday.

In the past week since the Taliban took the capital Kabul, thousands of Afghans have fled the country, including government officials, journalists and translators for western forces. Thousands more are camped in Kabul airport hoping to get a seat on a plane.

As western powers lose their appetite for foreign intervention, a return to Taliban rule for the country looks all but inevitable. The hardline Islamist group, which enforces a strict version of sharia law, was removed from power by US-led forces in 2001.

Ensuring water access and protecting people from severe climate impacts is critical to the governance of Afghanistan, said Vivekananda. “Providing safe, predictable and regular water would be an opportunity for the Taliban to prove their legitimacy and show good governance.”

“It is the essential resource for agriculture, which is essential for the economy and provides the vast majority of livelihoods,” said Brown. “If the Taliban care about the Afghan people, they are going to have to care about water.”



~
 

sammuel

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Foreign Aid Won’t Moderate the Taliban
International assistance isn’t the political lever many hope it will be.





More than 10 million Afghans are facing acute food insecurity caused by prolonged drought as the Taliban seizes control of the country.

Experts say drought and severe water shortages have compounded instability and conflict in Afghanistan for decades and are worsening a humanitarian crisis precipitated by the withdrawal of US and allied troops.

Afghanistan is in the grips of its second drought in four years. Since 1950, Afghanistan’s average annual temperature has increased by 1.8C, according to the climate security expert network. Heavy rainfall events have increased by between 10-25% over the past 30 years.

14 million people, around 35% of Afghanistan’s population, were already facing acute food insecurity before the Taliban takeover, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Half of all Afghan children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov told Reuters last week that Afghans are facing a double threat: conflict and drought. “You have a kind of combination effect of displacement caused by war and by military hostilities compounded with displacement caused by drought and by the difficult economic conditions,” Alakbarov said.

Oli Brown, associate fellow at Chatham House, told Climate Home News that food insecurity will increase in the next few months as snow makes roads in parts of the country completely impassable. “Unless you have a working system of governance to provide a safety net before the snow comes in, people will get stuck,” he said.

Afghans have found themselves caught in a vicious cycle of climate change and conflict for over 40 years. “One creates conditions for the other,” said Brown. Water and land scarcity have increased community-level conflict, poverty and instability, which in turn have driven environmental degradation and the depletion of resources.


Climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense extreme events, such as droughts and flash flooding, to the country in upcoming decades. More frequent droughts could boost the drug economy as opium poppies flourish in warm, dry climates.

Opium poppies are drought-resistant, easy to grow and transport, according to Brown. “Where wheat fails, opium poppies often survive,” he said.

“Increased opium revenues continue to fuel armed opposition groups and encourage corruption among government officials,” said Janani Vivekananda, a senior advisor on climate change and peacebuilding at thinktank Adelphi.

Afghanistan’s climate plan, submitted to the UN in 2015, outlines that all the country’s 34 provinces are highly vulnerable to climate impacts, including drought, heatwaves and glacial lake melts. Water stress is a major concern as 80% of the country’s population relies on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods.


The climate plan said $2.5 billion was needed for watershed management and $4.5 billion for the restoration of irrigation systems by 2030. But investments in boosting water and climate resilience over the past decade have been insufficient, experts say.

Vivekananda said that this issue is likely to be “kicked into the long grass” as development aid is suspended and the immediate focus shifts to humanitarian aid. “It is incredibly critical that this is not seen as a long-term issue, but rather as a priority issue for stabilising the situation now,” she said.It underlies any hope of addressing the longer term humanitarian needs of the Afghanistan population.”

Brown said international partners, including the US, did invest in building new irrigation channels, but that it is unclear how many of these were properly maintained.

Improvements to irrigation systems in some cases increased poppy cultivation and opium production, according to a report by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR).


President Joe Biden has decided to finish evacuating US troops from Afghanistan by 31 August, an administration official said on Tuesday.

In the past week since the Taliban took the capital Kabul, thousands of Afghans have fled the country, including government officials, journalists and translators for western forces. Thousands more are camped in Kabul airport hoping to get a seat on a plane.

As western powers lose their appetite for foreign intervention, a return to Taliban rule for the country looks all but inevitable. The hardline Islamist group, which enforces a strict version of sharia law, was removed from power by US-led forces in 2001.

Ensuring water access and protecting people from severe climate impacts is critical to the governance of Afghanistan, said Vivekananda. “Providing safe, predictable and regular water would be an opportunity for the Taliban to prove their legitimacy and show good governance.”

“It is the essential resource for agriculture, which is essential for the economy and provides the vast majority of livelihoods,” said Brown. “If the Taliban care about the Afghan people, they are going to have to care about water.”

 

IceCold

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The U.S. delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners
This is fine and should be acceptable.


as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society,” he said in a statement.
This on the other hand is interference and though women should be given their due right but a western country cannot dictate a Muslim country on the rights of women.
 

cloud4000

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All Afghanistan funds currently frozen should be unfrozen. It’s a necessity unless you want a humanitarian disaster on your hands.
 

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