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Dhaka Tribune

UNSC adopts resolution to ease Afghan aid

The resolution is a first step by the UN after months of wrangling over how to avert a humanitarian catastrophe
Update : 01 Jan 2022, 04:44 PM

The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a US-proposed resolution that facilitates humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, which is on the verge of economic collapse, while keeping funds out of Taliban hands.

The resolution is a first step by the UN after months of wrangling over how to avert a humanitarian catastrophe amid economic meltdown in Afghanistan since the Taliban swept back to power in mid-August.

Since then, billions of dollars in aid and assets have been frozen by the West in what the UN has described as an "unprecedented fiscal shock" to the aid-dependent Afghan economy, and the nation is in the middle of a bitter winter.

For months now, observers have been warning that millions face a choice between starvation or migration during a combined food, fuel and cash crisis.

The Security Council resolution states that "payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities are permitted."

Such assistance is "not a violation" of sanctions imposed on entities linked to the Taliban, whose regime is not yet recognized by the international community, it adds. 

An earlier US resolution had sought to authorize case-by-case exemptions to sanctions, but that was blocked by veto-wielding permanent Security Council members China and Russia.

"Humanitarian aid and life-saving assistance must be able to reach the Afghan people without any hindrance," China's UN Ambassador, Zhang Jun, said in a tweet on Monday.

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