Humanitarian Crisis Killing Children In Afghanistan

When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the US which had occupied the country for two decades froze 7 billion dollars worth of Afghan assets. Unable to access foreign assets, the Afghan banking system collapsed. On 11 February the Biden administration unfroze the accounts – but instead of allowing Afghan banks to access the assets, it has diverted 50 percent of the assets to compensate American victims of the 9/11 bombing, and placed the rest in a US-controlled “trust” which they claim is for the Afghan people!

Moreover, the Afghan economy was almost entirely reliant on foreign aid during the US occupation (accounting for more than 42% of GDP and funding the lion’s share of public expenditure), and the US withdrawal led to a massive unemployment and economic crisis.

A report in The New Yorker in February had found, “Without financial backing from the U.S. and from international lending institutions, Afghanistan’s economy has all but evaporated. Hundreds of thousands of government employees have not received a salary for months. In the cities, there is food for sale in the bazaars, but prices have risen so steeply that Afghans find it difficult to sustain their families. In the countryside, drought has caused widespread hunger, worsening during the cold winter months.”  

Afghanistan’s 2 crore children are starving, and thousands have died as a result of acute pneumonia, with their parents lacking the means to get treatment, and hospitals lacking the necessary infrastructure.

Afghanistan’s ongoing humanitarian crisis is the violence of US imperialism and Islamophobic “war on terror” continuing by other means. 9/11 was the pretext for the US occupation of Afghanistan – and now again Afghan assets are being diverted towards US families or kept under US control in the name of 9/11. Like the occupation, this continued US control over Afghan assets is an act of collective punishment on the Afghan people. Adding insult to injury, the US is claiming that the assets placed in a trust will go to Afghan people as “aid”, rather than being available to Afghan banks for the Afghanistan government and people to use as they need.    

We stand opposed to the repressive policies of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. But the US cannot be allowed to continue to meddle in Afghan affairs, depriving the Afghanistan government and banking system cannot be deprived of access to Afghan assets. Only then with the Government get a chance to revive the economy – and the people of Afghanistan will get a chance to demand democratic and accountable governance.

Humanitarian Crisis Killing Children In Afghanistan