BRUSSELS, Sept 2 — The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan may turn into catastrophe since the Taliban have no access to the funds provided to the country by the international community, Sputnik reported citing a senior official at the European External Action Service (EEAS) as saying on Wednesday.
“The humanitarian situation has already been very bad in Afghanistan before all these events. It risks turning catastrophic soon… . Now access to financial means, the funds which the international community made available, which covered 77 percent of the budget of the Afghan government, civilian budget, military budget 100 percent, are now not available,” Gunnar Wiegand, the EEAS managing director for Asia and the Pacific, told the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee meeting on Afghanistan.
Wiegand said that the reserves of Afghanistan’s central bank and the funding provided by the International Monetary Fund were not available as well.
“This will hit the population hard and will influence the Taliban’s ability to run the country. We have to find ways to mitigate and avoid a major humanitarian disaster… we need to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan to avoid a migration crisis,” the senior EEAS official added.
Earlier in the day, another senior EU official, Raffaella Iodice, told the same meeting that about 18 million people in the Central Asian nation — roughly half of the country’s population — were in need of humanitarian assistance.
Last week, the UN World Food Programme warned that its supply of food in Afghanistan might end in October, while the agency’s Food and Agriculture Organisation expressed fears that the upcoming winter season would threaten hundreds of thousands of Afghans whose livelihoods depend on agriculture if urgent humanitarian assistance fails to come on time.