UN Aid Chief Martin Griffiths told The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that the Taliban is resisting humanitarian funding and interfering in the aid delivery in Afghanistan.

Blocking the Aid

The US forces withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, ending a 20-year war that concluded in what Biden called “the largest airlift in US history” after the chaotic evacuation of more than 120,000 civilians. In his remarks, he said,

After 20 years — a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of thousands of Afghan National Security and Defense Forces, 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 more wounded, and untold thousands coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health — I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.

Furthermore, he said that the US military forces’ withdrawal was a well-informed decision, as he was briefed every day on the updates on the battlefield. He also said that continuing to fight an indefinite war was not in the national interest of the United States.

Afghanistan civilians attempt on the airfield as a C-17 attempts to take off from the Kabul airport. (news.usni.org)

Since then, the Taliban has taken over the country. The United Nations and aid groups are left struggling to provide aid and deliver cash to run needed operations. This is after international banks become “wary” of testing a system implemented by the UN called the Humanitarian Exchange Facility to bypass the Taliban leaders, who are under sanctions.

According to the International Rescue Committee, the Humanitarian Exchange Facility “would allow Afghan private sector companies to deposit their afghanis into banks for UN agencies and NGOs to access inside Afghanistan to pay for operational costs.” The process involves exchanging aid dollars worth millions of dollars for afghanis that will be used in supporting humanitarian operations and aiding the economic crises that the country is experiencing. Griffiths told the council,

“The formal banking system continues to block transfers due to excessive de-risking, impacting payment channels and causing breakdowns in supply chains.”

“We have seen limited progress because of resistance by the de-facto authorities. This is an issue that is not going to fix itself.”