limited international aid after Taliban takeover – .

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limited international aid after Taliban takeover – .


TORONTO – Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the country has fallen into the most serious economic slide since the 1990s.

Billions of foreign aid that once supplemented the state budget are now frozen, and everything from food to fuel, and even the money itself, is scarce.

In Kabul’s main children’s hospital, staff come and go in rooms full of malnourished babies.

United Nations staff who visited this week warn of a humanitarian catastrophe.

“There are millions of people who are going to starve,” UNICEF’s Omar Abdi told CTV News. “And there is winter coming, there is COVID raging. “

It is the system as a whole that is on the verge of collapse.

The Afghan currency has fallen in value. Weekly cash withdrawals are capped at two hundred dollars and savings are out of reach.

In just one month, gasoline prices soared 60% across the country, while the price of a bag of flour jumped 40%. Even a simple can of beans has seen its price increase by up to 30%.

People sell their rugs and other household items to buy food, with many parents forgoing meals so their children can eat.

“It is incredibly sad that over the weeks a humanitarian crisis has worsened and escalated at an incredible rate,” Mary-Ellen McGroarty, World Food Program director for Afghanistan, told CTV News.

Three-quarters of state spending once came from international organizations, but since the Taliban takeover, financial support has been suspended.

A bakery worker said Afghan workers are calling on the Islamic Emirate to improve relations with neighboring countries and the rest of the world so that prices come down.

At Cafe Tabasum, the dust on the tables paints an illustrative image of what the once bustling cafe has become. The economic downturn, combined with fear of the Taliban, forced the owner, a 23-year-old woman, to lock the doors.

She told CTV News her all-female staff had stopped coming for fear the Taliban would one day come and beat them.

Help may be on the way, according to the Taliban – they said on Sunday that the United States had agreed to provide humanitarian aid while refusing to recognize the Taliban as the country’s new rulers.

This weekend, the first direct talks between the United States and the Taliban have taken place since the United States withdrew its forces from Afghanistan in late August. The United States has yet to provide clear confirmation of the aid, saying on Sunday that the two sides “have discussed the United States providing solid humanitarian aid, directly to the Afghan people.”

With files from Alexandra Mae Jones of CTVNews.ca

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