Taliban in Switzerland urging int'l aid to fight crises in Afghanistan
Afghanistan grapples with humanitarian and economic crises, and seeks urgent aid from European countries.
On Thursday, the Taliban demanded direct dialogue with the international community on providing humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, noting that international bodies do not yet recognize the Taliban nor their governance, according to a statement by a delegation visiting Geneva.
The 10-member delegation is in Switzerland for talks with non-governmental organizations, calling "on the international community to move forward with the IE (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) on the basis of transparency and accountability, and to respond to the need for humanitarian assistance."
Furthermore, the delegation wanted "all aid agencies to assist Afghans in facilitating humanitarian aid and logistics, keep borders open, and create a safe corridor for humanitarian aid, convoys, cargo and staff."
After the Taliban's takeover in August 2021, a life-threatening financial and economic crisis has been crippling the population. That, and in addition to US sanctions on Kabul which has frozen the country's assets, has brought the country closer to collapse.
The Taliban delegation to Geneve was led by the Minister of Health, Qalander Ebad, upon the invitation of Appel de Geneve, an NGO which has been active for many years in Afghanistan, advocating for the protection of civilians in conflict zones.
Moreover, the visit provided an opportunity for the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to meet the Taliban, in addition to enabling the Taliban to hold talks with the Red Cross, European diplomats, and representatives of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, all meetings were held behind closed doors.
Recently, India has delivered 3 tons of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, marking its fourth batch of aid from New Delhi.
"As part of our ongoing humanitarian assistance, India supplied the fourth batch of medical assistance consisting of 3 tons of essential life-saving medicines to Afghanistan. The same was handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kabul," the Ministry said in a statement.
India is expected to send more batches of aid to Afghanistan, containing medical supplies and grain.