Amid intensifying the Ukraine crisis, Afghanistan continues to portray the dismal picture of the looming humanitarian crisis due to the fragile economic situation. To address the seeming challenges United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) hosted a session as millions of Afghans faced another winter of starvation and the only tool at disposal was expensive and unsustainable humanitarian handouts. In a press release, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said that Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons will present her report to members of the meeting. Meanwhile, the United Nations has described the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan as “worrying” and said that efforts are underway to strengthen the economic sector and attract humanitarian aid to the country. The situation demands the most urgent to address Afghanistan’s economy. As the country is nearing a tipping point that will see more businesses close, more people unemployed, and falling into poverty. It is approaching a point of irreversibility. Likewise challenges to reviving the economy still remain at the core. These include the collapse of demand due to the cessation of all development assistance, restrictions on international payments, lack of access to hard currency reserves, lack of liquidity, and constraints on the Central Bank to carry out some of its core functions. In such a situation, the main objective of the international community must be to stabilize Afghanistan and ensure durable peace within the country and in the region. It is vital in this context to release all of Afghanistan’s financial reserves. It is most regrettable that half of their reserves are proposed to be sequestered by another country’s initial appeal and trust that there will be an equally generous response to his new appeal. Beyond humanitarian help, stabilizing Afghanistan requires reconstruction – to rebuild damaged infrastructure and implement the connectivity projects, such as the TAPI, CASA, and the Central Asia-Afghanistan-Pakistan railroads, as well as the envisaged extension of CPEC to Afghanistan. UNAMA’s new mandate must focus on humanitarian and emergency assistance; the revival of the Afghan economy; building the capacity of Afghan institutions, and facilitating the reconstruction and connectivity projects. Political objectives – such as promoting “inclusive” governance is the sole purview of Afghanistan and the Afghan authorities. The six neighbors’ platform has also helped to move the process in this direction and this platform will convene in China in the near future. As security remains a preeminent concern for Afghans and for their neighbors. There are still some who wish to continue using Afghan territory to promote terrorism, including against regional countries, especially against Pakistan. The international community must encourage and support the efforts of the Afghan authorities to eliminate Daesh (IS-K). Effective strategies are also needed to address other terrorist groups in Afghanistan in particular the TTP, ETIM, IMU, and Al-Qaida. An important element of success will be an early lifting of the 1988 Sanctions against Taliban members, as envisaged in the Doha Agreement and in UNSC Resolution.
Furthermore addressing the economic crisis must be a key focus. In addition to this working with the Taliban de facto authorities to ensure strong, vital, high-level education for all girls and boys to help the country move forward. Further on to continue supporting respect for internationally recognized human rights and engaging in a discussion about political inclusion to ensure that the concerns of all Afghans in its very rich diversity are reflected in decision-making. Above all supporting a structured policy dialogue with the de facto authorities that supports this process of securing domestic legitimacy as well as addresses the key concerns of members of this Council and let me name a few– counter-narcotics, counterterrorism, and regional security. These elements combined allow working with the de facto authorities and other Afghans and indeed all of you to establish a pathway for the Afghan state to rejoin the larger international community. The international community represented by the 15 countries here the Council must make a choice. This Council has the lead decision-making power. There is a dire need to develop and design a much-needed, relevant, and solid political mission that will help to build back the country and to build the capacity, that will help to attract back the all-important development and will avoid the constant collapse of Afghanistan into a humanitarian crisis. The enduring sufferings of Afghans need collective commitment to move the country forward in a political mission supporting all Afghans. Rebuilding is what political missions do, in concert with the authorities and with the citizens of the country.