Afghanistan on verge of socio-economic collapse, EU’s prime diplomat says

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BRUSSELS, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Afghanistan is dealing with a breakdown of its financial and social programs that dangers turning right into a humanitarian disaster, the European Union’s overseas coverage chief mentioned on Sunday.

Avoiding the worst-case state of affairs would require the Taliban to adjust to situations that may allow extra worldwide help, Josep Borrell wrote in a weblog submit.

“Afghanistan is experiencing a serious humanitarian crisis and a socio-economic collapse is looming, which would be dangerous for Afghans, the region and international security,” Borrell wrote.

Food costs within the nation have jumped greater than 50% for the reason that Taliban took energy in August because the freezing of $9 billion of Afghanistan’s belongings held in overseas central financial institution reserves and the withdrawal of overseas revenue stokes inflation.

The Afghan banking system is essentially paralysed, with individuals unable to withdraw cash, whereas the nation’s well being system – which was closely depending on overseas help – is near collapse, in line with Borrell.

“If the situation continues and with winter approaching, this risks turning into a humanitarian catastrophe,” he wrote, including that this might set off mass migration into neighbouring states.

The 27-country EU has elevated its humanitarian help to Afghanistan for the reason that Taliban took energy, however halted its improvement help – a transfer additionally taken by different international locations and the World Bank.

The EU response to the disaster would rely on the behaviour of the brand new Afghan authorities, Borrell mentioned, and any resumption of relations would require compliance with situations together with human rights.

“This requires above all that the Taliban take the steps that will enable the international community to assist the Afghan people,” he mentioned, including that feminine workers from worldwide businesses should be capable to do their job.

Widespread studies of human rights abuses and the exclusion of women from colleges have dented optimism that the Taliban’s strategy has modified because it first ran Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. learn extra

Borrell met Qatari officers final week within the Qatari capital Doha, the place the Taliban have a illustration.

He mentioned Qatar’s contacts with the Taliban had been aimed toward moderating their behaviour, and urged Doha to make use of its contacts with them to make sure the “worst scenario” for Afghanistan could possibly be prevented.

Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Josep Borrell holds a press conference after a meeting of E.U. Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, in New York, U.S., September 20, 2021. REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado