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IMF warns of ‘looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 17, 2021)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday said it was deeply concerned with the economic situation facing Afghanistan and warned of a looming humanitarian crisis facing the country after last month’s takeover by the Islamic Emirate.

Addressing a press conference in Washington DC on Thursday, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice stated that the global lender’s engagement with Afghanistan remains suspended, which means IMF funding is on hold.

He said the immediate focus should be on helping the Afghan people by allowing the flow of remittances and small-scale transfers and providing aid to countries hosting Afghan refugees.

“Our engagement with Afghanistan has been suspended until there is clarity within the international community on the recognition of the government. We’re guided by the international community in terms of the recognition of the government in Afghanistan, and we don’t have that. So, the IMF program there, which you asked about, has been put on hold,” Rice said.

He noted “as we said last month, the country cannot access IMF resources, SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) and so on at this point. But again, I want to say that we stand ready to work with the international community to advocate for urgent actions to stall a looming humanitarian crisis.”

This comes as the United States has frozen some 9.5 billion U.S. dollars in assets of the country’s central bank since August 15.

Although the Afghan central bank has resumed operation, many banks have still remained closed, with worried residents seen lining up outside the bank outlets for cash withdrawal.

The ongoing cash shortage has not only made it difficult for the Afghan people to survive but has also limited the country’s business activities of all time.

Although an aid package of over one billion U.S. dollars has been pledged by the international community, one in every three Afghan people are suffering major food shortages as a result of soaring prices, the severe humanitarian crisis in the country, and the possibility of economic collapse across the country.

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US understands importance of Chabahar Port for Afghanistan: India

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The United States understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide the country economic alternatives, India’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

 India recently signed a 10-year agreement to develop and operate Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port as New Delhi aims to boost trade ties with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, bypassing ports in its western neighbour and arch foe Pakistan.

But the deal has prompted a thinly veiled threat of sanctions from the United States, with whom India has developed close economic and military ties in recent decades.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal, noted that since 2018, India has supplied 85,000 metric tons of wheat, 200 metric tons of pulses and 40,000 litres of pesticide Malathion to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port.

“The United States also has an understanding…understands the importance of Chabahar Port for continued humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan and to provide Afghanistan economic alternatives,” he said in a press conference.

“Our External Affairs Minister also spoke on this matter in several forums recently, where he said that we should not take a narrow view of this particular project, it has an important role to play as far as the region is concerned, connectivity is concerned, particularly for the landlocked countries in the area,” he added.

He also said that Russia‘s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, met with an Indian delegation led by Joint Secretary, J.P. Singh, who looks after Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, in the Ministry of External Affairs, essentially exchange of views on the ground and the situation and how the two countries look at the situation.

He said that they emphasized on the need to provide development assistance and humanitarian support to the people of Afghanistan.

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Nicaragua president sends letter of condolence to IEA leader after floods

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

The Afghan Embassy in China announced Saturday that the President of Nicaragua has sent a letter of condolence to the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, following the recent deadly floods in Afghanistan.

Based on the embassy’s statement, the letter was handed over by Michael Campbell, the Nicaraguan ambassador to China, to Bilal Karimi, the Afghan ambassador to China.

In the letter, Nicaragua president, Daniel Ortega, while expressing his sympathy over the floods, expressed his interest in establishing good relations with the Islamic Emirate and cooperation in various fields.

The Nicaraguan ambassador stated that the Nicaraguan people, like the Afghans, achieved independence after a hard struggle against the colonialists, which is a common point between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Bilal Karimi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, has said that he will convey the condolence letter of the President of Nicaragua to the leader of the Islamic Emirate. He also assured of maintaining good relations with the country.

Karimi emphasized that all Latin American countries are important, but Nicaragua’s taking the initiative is a positive and admirable move.

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UN Doha meeting should reflect realities of Afghanistan: Iranian envoy

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2024)

Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said in a meeting with his Italian counterpart that the next UN-convened meeting on Afghanistan should reflect the realities of the country.

Qomi said that Tehran is ready to work with Europe on the development of a comprehensive cooperation plan for Afghanistan based on the consultations it has conducted.

He added that the topics of the third meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan in Doha should be based on the realities of the region and Afghanistan.

“The actions of countries outside the region have not been useful in solving the crisis and challenges of Afghanistan so far, and if this situation continues, Europe will also be plagued by the problems,” he said.

The last meeting of the United Nations on Afghanistan was held in Doha in February this year, but it failed to achieve its primary objectives.

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