KABUL: New Taliban envoy to United Nations on Wednesday called for swift global recognition of new Afghan leaders even as the World Health Organization sounded the alarm of an impending health disaster in the war-torn country .
The humanitarian crisis is one of many challenges the Taliban have faced since taking control of Afghanistan last month, including renewed threats from the militant group ISIS, which recently stepped up its attacks, targeting operatives of the Islamic State. Taliban in its stronghold in the east of the country.
In an emergency measure, UN aid coordinator Martin Griffiths on Wednesday released $ 45 million in life-saving aid for Afghanistan from the global body’s emergency fund.
The World Health Organization has said Afghanistan’s health system is on the brink of collapse and urgent action is needed.
The statement follows a recent visit to Kabul by a WHO team led by the agency’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who also met with Taliban and other leaders.
âThe country faces an impending humanitarian catastrophe,â the WHO said, adding that thousands of health facilities lack funding for medical supplies and health worker salaries.
âMany of these facilities have now downsized or closed, forcing health providers to make tough decisions about who to save and who to let die,â the WHO said and also stressed âthe need for women to maintain the ‘access to education, health care, and health personnel. â
Griffiths warned that “allowing Afghanistan’s health care delivery system to collapse would be disastrous.”
People across Afghanistan, he added, “would be denied access to primary health care such as emergency cesarean sections and trauma care.”
Earlier, the Taliban wrote to the United Nations to announce that Suhail Shaheen, a former peace negotiator and spokesperson for the Taliban’s political bureau, was their new representative at the UN.
They demanded that Shaheen be allowed to address the UN General Assembly underway in New York.
“We have all the conditions necessary for the recognition of a government. So we hope that the UN, as a neutral world body, will recognize the current government of Afghanistan,” Shaheen told The Associated Press on Wednesday. .
Afghanistan is listed as the last speaker at Monday’s ministerial meeting, and if no global recognition of the Taliban arrives by then, Afghan Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai will deliver the speech.
Isaczai is currently recognized as his country’s ambassador to the UN, but the Taliban, who invaded most of Afghanistan last month as US and NATO forces were in the final stages of their chaotic withdrawal from the country, claim that they are now in charge and have the right to appoint ambassadors.
Since coming to power and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the Taliban have appointed an all-male cabinet made up mostly of hard-line supporters from their time ruled Afghanistan at the end of the 1990s, including several people on the UN sanctions list.
Among those on the UN’s so-called âblacklistâ is Amir Khan Mutaqqi, the Taliban’s foreign minister and the author of the letter to the UN asking Shaheen to speak to the United Nations. ‘General Assembly.
The decision rests with a UN committee that usually meets in November and will render a decision “in due course,” General Assembly spokeswoman Monica Grayley said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, attackers hit vehicles with Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, witnesses said, killing at least two fighters and three civilians.
In an attack, gunmen opened fire on a Taliban vehicle at a local gas station in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, killing two fighters, a gas station attendant and a child.
A second child was killed and two Taliban fighters were injured in a bombardment of another Taliban vehicle.
A third attack, also a shelling from a Taliban vehicle in Jalalabad, injured a person nearby, but it was not clear whether that person was a Taliban member or a civilian, witnesses added, speaking under the claim. on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from the Taliban.
No one has claimed immediate responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks, although ISIS, headquartered in eastern Afghanistan, said it was behind similar attacks in Jalalabad. last week that left eight people dead.
The Taliban and IS are enemies, and the attacks have raised the specter of a wider conflict between longtime rivals.
After two decades in Afghanistan, the United States should do more to help the country’s refugees, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in remarks released Wednesday.
Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population, some 4 million, mostly Syrians, and has warned it can no longer accept arrivals from Afghanistan.
“At the moment, the United States is not fulfilling its obligations. We have more than 300,000 Afghan refugees and we will no longer be able to afford to welcome more Afghan refugees in Turkey,” Erdogan said in an overview of an interview with CBS due to air Sunday.
“Of course the United States should do a lot and invest a lot because the United States has been there for 20 years, but why, why? First, these questions should be answered by the United States.”
Afghan refugees have been fleeing their country since last month, when the Taliban returned to power as US forces prepared to withdraw from the country in late August.
A day earlier, Erdogan used his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to warn of a potential wave of refugees triggered by climate change.
Turkey has experienced growing dissatisfaction with migration levels since the start of the Syrian conflict a decade ago.
The government is tightening security on its eastern border with Iran, including a wall, amid fears the Taliban regime will push refugees, many of whom are trying to reach Europe, to the border Turkish.
Pakistan on Wednesday expressed concern over Afghanistan’s economic situation and urged the world to help the war-torn country stabilize its economy.
Foreign Minister Sohail Mahmood made the comments during a meeting with Ambassador Yue Xiaoyong and Ambassador Zamir Kabulov, special envoys / representatives of China and Russia respectively in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Afghan Special Envoy, Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq, was also present at the meeting.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on the latest political and economic situation in Afghanistan, according to a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.
Mahmood said “Afghanistan’s current economic indicators are a matter of concern” and that there was fear of an economic collapse which could lead to a new wave of refugee influxes to neighboring countries.
“It was therefore important that the international community remain engaged and provide emergency humanitarian aid and help stabilize the economic situation in Afghanistan,” he said.
The Foreign Minister hoped that the Afghan government would continue to take measures leading to lasting stability in Afghanistan.
He reiterated that Pakistan will continue its efforts to support Afghanistan on the path to peace, progress and prosperity.
The three epic envoys met Mahmood after their visit to Kabul where they met the Taliban leadership as well as other prominent Afghan figures including Hamid Karzai and Dr Abdullah Abdullah.
Mahmood, appreciating the visit of the special envoys to Kabul, stressed the importance of close coordination to promote the common objectives of a peaceful, stable, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan, according to the OF.