Human Lives Human Rights: The US-led sanctions on the Taliban government are affecting the common Afghan people, International aid organizations and global experts said.
With the Taliban’s takeover in August, Afghanistan was cut off from international financial institutions, while nearly $10bn of its assets were frozen by the US, triggering a banking crisis.
Meanwhile, because of sanctions, millions of dollars in international aid were also halted.
As more than half of Afghanistan’s 38 million population has been facing imminent food shortages in the harsh winter months, the aid agencies have been trying to navigate the sanctions to deliver much-needed aid to the country.
Rights groups call on sanctions imposing entities like the US and the UN Security Council (UNSC), to do all they can to ensure that Afghans have access to the humanitarian assistance.
They should ensure sanctions and other restrictive measures comply with international humanitarian and human rights law and do not impede impartial humanitarian activities.
More than 100 days into the Taliban’s rule, Afghanistan’s economy has nearly collapsed, for which the UN envoy for Afghanistan blamed on the financial sanctions.
Public hospitals are unable to afford essential medical supplies or to pay staff salaries, and families offering their young daughters for marriage in return for a bride price to help them survive.
Afghanistan’s crisis was the result of international sanctions, making millions of dollars of aid that supported the previous West-backed Afghan government inaccessible to the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate, aid groups say.
Adam Weinstein, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft agreed: “It was one thing to navigate sanctions on the Taliban when they weren’t the de facto government. But now they are sitting in Kabul and the question becomes, ‘how do you conduct business or provide aid in a country without touching the government?”