UN votes for resolution to facilitate humanitarian aid for the Afghan people

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by the US on Wednesday to facilitate humanitarian aid for Afghanistan for a year. The Taliban welcome a “good step” in the hope of the imminent lifting of the sanctions against the Islamic regime.

A resolution to facilitate aid to the Afghan people in a country on the verge of economic collapse. The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Wednesday December 22nd to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

The resolution states that “the disbursement of funds, financial assets” and “the provision of goods and services necessary” to meet “basic human needs in Afghanistan” are “permitted” and are “not in violation” Represent sanctions against people and organizations associated with the Taliban.

The adoption of this text marks a first step for the United Nations in relation to Afghanistan, which has been ruled since August by the Taliban, whose regime has not yet been recognized by the international community.

The UN resolution was “a good step,” replied a Taliban spokesman in Kabul.

The text aims to reduce the risk of an influx of refugees fleeing poverty into neighboring countries of Afghanistan and to meet the need for increased aid as noted by the United States.

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“This humanitarian exception is intended to facilitate aid to the Afghan people, but it is not a blank check for organizations that violate their international obligations,” said US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, referring to the Taliban.

Support for the Afghans, but not for the Taliban

In contrast to an earlier version of the text that provided for exceptions to limited sanctions on a case-by-case basis – which China failed on Monday – the resolution passed encompasses the provision of humanitarian aid in a broader sense.

“The current situation in Afghanistan is critical” and “the humanitarian crisis must be resolved as soon as possible,” said Chinese UN Ambassador Zhang Jun. “Humanitarian aid must not be conditional or politicized,” he added rejected any “arbitrary condition”.

To ensure that the aid goes to the Afghans and that the Taliban do not benefit from it, the resolution calls for a review of the basic humanitarian aid exemption after twelve months. However, China has said the permit won’t expire in a year.

“This exemption is intended to provide immediate support to the Afghan people who urgently need them. No more, ”on the contrary, stressed the Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, recalling that the Taliban are still failing to comply with international demands regarding respect for people’s rights.

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Monitoring humanitarian aid

During the negotiations, France and India had insisted in vain that diplomats said the resolution should only last six months.

“If there is evidence that the exemption is being abused or the money is reaching sanctioned individuals, it is possible to go back,” a diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The resolution strongly encourages humanitarian aid providers to minimize “any direct or indirect benefit” to any person or organization subject to international sanctions.

In Afghanistan, aid workers may be required to conduct financial transactions with ministries led by sanctioned individuals, and the resolution ensures that they are not in a situation where they are in breach of sanctions.

This text also includes a review of the destination of humanitarian aid within two months of its distribution and a UN report every six months on the implementation of humanitarian aid.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, welcomed the adoption of the resolution, which will enable some 160 humanitarian organizations on the ground to address “alarming needs and needs in the country”.

Freeze financial resources

The US, for its part, has granted new exemptions from the economic sanctions imposed on the Taliban, which are intended to help implement this resolution, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday.

These exemptions, which are intended to allow aid to flow into Afghanistan, allow the payment of duties, taxes and fees to the Taliban-controlled government, according to a statement by the Treasury.

After the Taliban returned to power in mid-August, the US froze almost $ 9.5 billion from the Afghan central bank and the World Bank also stopped aid to Kabul.

In this context, Russia called on Wednesday “a thawing of the assets and financial resources blocked by the West”.

On December 10, the World Bank announced that humanitarian aid of US $ 280 million would be paid to UNICEF and the World Food Program for Afghanistan by the end of December, with these UN agencies being responsible for the distribution of these funds.

With AFP