Red Cross Outraged Over Afghan Sanctions and Frozen Aid

A top Red Cross official has described the situation in Afghanistan as “infuriating”, calling on the donors to find creative ways to prevent a massive humanitarian crisis in the country. 

The economic sanctions “meant to punish those in power in Kabul are instead freezing millions of people across Afghanistan out of the basics they need to survive,” Dominik Stillhart, operations director at the International Committee of the Red Cross, said in a statement on Monday.

“I am livid. Pictures viewed from afar of bone-thin children rightly elicit gasps of horror. When you’re standing in the pediatric ward in Kandahar’s largest hospital, looking into the empty eyes of hungry children and the anguished faces of desperate parents, the situation is absolutely infuriating,” Stillhart said at the end of a six-day visit to Afghanistan.

Stillhart added that Afghanistan’s municipal workers, teachers, and health staffers have not been paid for five months,  Taliban officials say they have started paying three months’ check pay.

Stillhart gave assurance that ICRC will step up its assistance in Afghanistan but reminded everyone it is their interest to see humanitarian activities operating smoothly in Afghanistan. 

The United Nations had recently warned that around 22 million Afghans or more than half the country will face an acute food shortage in the winter months due to the combined effects of drought caused by global warming and an economic crisis aggravated by the Taliban takeover in August.


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