Despite criticism of the Taliban, Merkel insists on aid for Afghanistan
After the Islamist Taliban came to power, the EU wants to continue providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Chancellor Angela Merkel defends the planned payments: “We all benefit from it if the entire financial system in Afghanistan collapses.”
BAfter a G-20 switch on Afghanistan, the und-Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) insisted on helping the country despite the criticism of the Islamist Taliban government. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank also have a duty to do so.
“None of us benefit from the collapse of the entire financial system in Afghanistan,” said Merkel on Tuesday in Berlin. “Then humanitarian aid cannot be provided either.” Of course, it is certainly not always an easy delimitation how one helps the Taliban government. “But to watch 40 million people fall into chaos because neither electricity can be supplied nor a financial system exists, that cannot and must not be the goal of the international community.”
Previously, the heads of state and government of the 20 most important economic countries had discussed how to deal with Afghanistan in a video link.
The summit dealt with the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the threat of terrorism after the Taliban came to power and human rights issues in the country on the Hindu Kush. Shortly before the deliberations, the European Union announced that it would provide a total of around one billion euros in aid. The Chancellor criticized that the Taliban had not formed an inclusive government as required.
The G20 states commissioned the United Nations to coordinate humanitarian aid for Afghanistan. In addition, all heads of state and government agree that after the Taliban came to power, the country must recognize human and, above all, women’s rights and must not become a haven for terrorists. “We must not get to the point we did 20 years ago,” emphasized the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, currently chairman of the G-20 group.
Germany pledged 600 million euros
According to UN figures, around 18 million Afghans – and thus half of the total population – are dependent on humanitarian aid. 93 percent of households do not have enough to eat. According to the UN, basic services are about to collapse. A much bigger humanitarian catastrophe looms if the international community allows Afghanistan’s health care, banks and economy to collapse.
With a view to an international donor conference in September, Merkel said that Germany had confirmed its intention to use 600 million euros for humanitarian aid. In addition to humanitarian aid, a swift vaccination campaign is important. She said the issue of recognizing the Taliban government was not on the agenda. Nevertheless, there must be talks. The Chancellor emphasized the fight against terrorism. Afghanistan should not pose a threat to the outside world again.
In order to enable evacuations of German citizens from Afghanistan, it is important that there are functioning airports. Germany, along with other European countries and the United States, is talking to the Taliban about giving those who want to leave the country this opportunity as quickly as possible.
The US also wants to continue to support the people of Afghanistan in cooperation with the international community. The White House in Washington announced after the digital G-20 special summit that it was relying on diplomatic, humanitarian and economic means. US President Joe Biden had virtually attended the meeting. It has committed itself to providing direct humanitarian aid with the help of independent international organizations.