Rich Western countries stand by as Afghans face starvation

On January 11, the United Nations emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, appealed to the international community to help raise US$4.4 billion for Afghanistan in humanitarian aid, calling this effort “the largest ever appeal for a single country for humanitarian assistance.”

This amount is required “in the hope of shoring up collapsing basic services there,” said the UN. If this appeal is not met, Griffiths said, then “next year [2023] we’ll be asking for $10 billion.”

The figure of $10 billion is significant. A few days after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, the US government announced the seizure of $9.5 billion in Afghan assets that were being held in the US banking system.

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