UN Envoy: Afghanistan on Brink of `Humanitarian Catastrophe’

11/20/2021

The UN’s special representative for Afghanistan warned the country is “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,” predicting that 60% of 38 million Afghans face crisis levels of hunger.

The catastrophe “is preventable” according to Deborah Lyons who cited financial sanctions on the Taliban as a main cause. She said sanctions “have paralyzed the banking system, affecting every aspect of the economy. The paralysis of the banking sector will push more of the financial system into unaccountable and unregulated informal money exchanges.”

The Afghanistan central bank’s $9 billion in reserves, most of which is held in the United States, were frozen after the collapse of the former government. The IMF also blocked the release of $450 million because of a “lack of clarity” about a new government.

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Associated Press