UN says Taliban interfering with aid, resisting cash plan

Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban are resisting efforts by the United Nations to assist get humanitarian funding into the nation and are interfering within the supply of assist, UN assist chief Martin Griffiths informed the Security Council on Thursday.

Since the hardline Taliban took over in August as US-led forces withdrew after 20 years of struggle, worldwide banks are cautious of testing UN and US sanctions, leaving the United Nations and assist teams struggling to ship sufficient money to run operations.

“The formal banking system continues to block transfers due to excessive de-risking, impacting payment channels and causing breakdowns in supply chains,” Griffiths informed the 15-member Security Council.

The United Nations has been making an attempt to kickstart a system – described as a Humanitarian Exchange Facility (HEF) – to swap tens of millions of assist {dollars} for Afghan foreign money in a plan to stem assist and financial crises and bypass Taliban leaders who’re beneath sanctions.

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“We have seen limited progress because of resistance by the de-facto authorities. This is an issue that is not going to fix itself,” mentioned Griffiths, including that till Afghanistan’s formal banking system might function correctly once more, the United Nations wanted to get Humanitarian Exchange Facility up and working.

He mentioned about half the help teams lately surveyed by the United Nations reported issue transferring funds into Afghanistan, down from 87% in October, including: “The direction of travel is positive, but the figure remains alarming.”

Griffiths mentioned two-thirds of the help teams cited a scarcity of obtainable money in Afghanistan as impeding their packages.

Taliban authorities are additionally more and more interfering with the supply of humanitarian assist, regardless of a pledge to UN officers in September that they might not, Griffiths mentioned.

“National and local authorities are increasingly seeking to play a role in the selection of beneficiaries and channelling assistance to people on their own priority lists, citing an almost universal level of need,” he mentioned.

“We are also seeing more demands by the Taliban for data and information with regards to budget and staffing contracts,” he mentioned, including that assist teams “face continued difficulties as they try to hire Afghan women in certain functions.”

The Taliban couldn’t be instantly reached for touch upon Griffiths remarks.

Griffiths mentioned the United Nations had solely acquired one-third of the $4.4 billion it wanted to fulfill humanitarian wants in Afghanistan in 2022. “We simply do not have enough funding,” he mentioned.

The council met for its quarterly assembly on Afghanistan a day after an earthquake killed not less than 1,000 individuals in a distant a part of the nation.

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