The Taliban thanked the international community on September 14 after an emergency meeting which enabled the day before to raise 1.2 billion dollars for Afghanistan, promised a humanitarian catastrophe if the donors do not mobilize.
“We thank and salute the commitment of the world […] and ask them to continue their aid to Afghanistan, ”said Amir Khan Muttaqi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the new Afghan government.
Since the return to power of the Taliban on August 15, Afghanistan has been partly at a standstill, in particular because of the interruption of financial flows with abroad which infused an economy stricken by more than 40 years of wars.
The United Nations announced on September 13 that donor states had pledged a total of $ 1.2 billion (about one billion euros) in aid to Afghanistan, but did not specify the amount that would be allocated specifically to emergency aid.
“The Islamic Emirate will do its best to give this aid to people in need in a completely transparent way,” said Amir Khan Muttaqi. The situation is becoming critical for millions of Afghans, already affected by an acute drought and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the after-effects of decades of war. According to the UN, in the absence of support, almost the entire Afghan population (97%) is at risk of falling below the poverty line in 2022, compared to 72% today.
Taliban call on US to show ‘generosity’
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged the international community on September 13 to dialogue with the Taliban, when many countries had until then refused to provide aid directly to the new government in an attempt to bend it.
The people of Afghanistan are facing a humanitarian calamity.
This is the time for the international community to extend a lifeline and do everything we can – and everything we owe – to help them hold on to hope. https://t.co/ZX1koiribx
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 13, 2021
“If we want to advance human rights for the Afghan people, the best way is to move forward with humanitarian aid” and use it as a “lever” for “all other aspects of concern to the international community ”, he argued, citing in particular“ terrorism ”,“ drugs ”or human rights. The United States, which has spent 2,000 billion dollars in 20 years of the Afghan conflict, has however only pledged 64 million for the UN initiative.
America is a great country, they must be generous
The head of the Afghan diplomacy invited them to go beyond: “America is a big country, they must show generosity”. “The Islamic Emirate [a] helped the United States by facilitating their evacuations, “added Amir Khan Muttaqi, referring to the more than 123,000 people exfiltrated from Afghanistan at the end of August during a gigantic airlift,” but instead of thanks, they are talking about imposing sanctions on our people ”.
The chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan continues to generate strong controversy in the United States. September 13, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had to defend him before a reassembled Congress, where elected Republicans denounced an “unconditional surrender” to the Taliban. “We inherited a deadline, we did not inherit a plan,” he objected, referring to the withdrawal agreement signed in February 2020 in Doha by the administration of President Donald Trump (2017-2021) in exchange for Taliban promises.
The Taliban want to convince of a softening of their mode of government
The Taliban announced the week of September 6 their government, marked by the presence of many fundamentalist caciques in power between 1996 and 2001. They pledged to govern in a less brutal and rigorous way than during their first reign, when they prohibited women to work or study. However, they also sometimes violently repressed and then banned demonstrations organized in several major cities in the country, in which many women participated demanding that they be able to continue working to feed their families.
On September 14, however, hundreds of protesters marched in Kandahar, a large southern city and birthplace of the Taliban, against the decision of the new authorities to expel former Afghan soldiers and their families from their homes to house their own fighters.
As the resumption of international flights is seen as a test for the Taliban government, Qatar, which has gradually rehabilitated Kabul airport after the hasty and high-tension departure of US forces on August 30, warned the September 14 that he would not take any “responsibility” for his operation without a “clear” agreement. On September 13, a first commercial flight landed in Kabul and then departed for Islamabad, with around 70 passengers on board, the vast majority of them Afghans.