Appalling conditions - GulfToday

Appalling conditions


The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

An uncertain future awaits not only ‘Gen Z’ but almost everyone residing in Afghanistan (“Bewildered Afghanistan’s ‘Gen Z’ looks for answers,” Sept. 1, Gulf Today).

Afghanistan is staring at a humanitarian crisis if urgent and sustained support is not made available to the country by the international community. This is what that U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has warned: “the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan remains desperate, and if public services and the economy collapse, we will see even greater suffering, instability, and displacement both within and outside the country.”

This is not because of the swift takeover alone. Afghanistan was in the pits even before Taliban took charge. It is just that it’s getting worse every passing day because of the current volatile situation in the nation. The UN has recorded that more than 18 million Afghans, or about half the population, required humanitarian aid, much before Taliban made its foray into the country.

Compounding the problem is the fact that 3.5 million Afghans are displaced in a country that is battling drought and the pandemic. Another UN official says that a severe drought is affecting 7.3 million people in 25 of the country’s 34 provinces and rural communities. He adds that 4 million Afghans are facing a humanitarian emergency due to “extreme gaps in food consumption, very high levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality.”

Besides this the fear of persecution and moves to push women out of public life is a clear indicator that the Taliban are going back to their old ways. A week ago women were beaten up for demanding their rights.  A few days before that, women were told to stay indoors until proper systems are put in place. Afghani women including their national teams are banned from playing sport. Members of the women soccer team and their families were to flee the country and make their way to Pakistan. I don’t know if that will happen, though I am hoping it will.

It’s a ticking time bomb of a humanitarian kind. The world community needs to intervene quickly.

Feroza Naqib — By email

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