The dire situation in Afghanistan – governmental and individual action is needed

Embed from Getty Images

Earlier this Autumn, I had the privilege of talking with three women who had been trying to bring awareness to the dire situation developing in Afghanistan. Sitting outside the Palace of Westminster day after day, these dedicated women were not only inviting people to discuss the NATO withdrawal, but were also participating in a hunger strike to demonstrate their disdain towards the new Taliban regime. Since our initial meeting, I have met with these women multiple times, and I have begun to understand more deeply the feelings held by those in Afghanistan.

Afghan people are scared, the women tell me, and contrary to some of the headlines recently, they are not in support of the repressive and fundamentalist Taliban regime. In fact, they argue, many are publicly declaring support for the regime simply to protect their families, without privately subscribing to the beliefs of the new leadership. Inside their homes, people are continuing to educate their daughters, read books that are now banned, and give and receive obstetric care. These risks are taken to prevent the backslide of societal progress, with my Afghan guests telling me that when the Taliban took over, “20 years of progress was washed away overnight.”

The fears and harrowing stories relayed by these women are not isolated, however. The UN is reporting that 22.8 million people are currently food insecure, with 3 million children suffering from acute malnutrition. Dozens of news reports describe the crisis developing as the country enters winter; with fuel prices up 75% and hundreds of thousands of people without homes, the prognosis is nothing if not bleak.

The Government has pledged £286 million towards Afghan aid this year, but that won’t be enough to stave off starvation and a developing refugee crisis in neighboring countries. Furthermore, the government has yet to open the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme, designed to bring over vulnerable people such as women and members of the LGBT+ community. While delivering aid and resources without directly financing the Taliban is a difficult task, these delays in action will have a massive cost in human lives.

We need this government to take further action to prevent an historic humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. More aid is desperately needed, and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme needs to open. However, we can act individually. If you have the ability to give this winter, consider donating to the UN World Food Programme, where £7.50 could help feed 19 hungry people.

Lord Roger Roberts wrote this with assistance from Jennifer Schwartz.

* Lord Roberts of Llandudno is a Liberal Democrat Member of the House of Lords

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

3 Comments

  • John Marriott 24th Nov '21 - 8:22am

    Yes, my Lord, it’s a tough situation. You can thank Trump for pulling the plug. My sympathy is also with those brave soldiers who lost their lives or who received lif changing injuries, whose relatives must be wondering whether it was all worth it.

    As for the Taliban, perhaps yet again they will come to realise that trying to govern with one hand tied behind your back ain’t easy. Perhaps again as before they might be inclined to hand back the keys. The only trouble is what kind of a mess they will be leaving behind.

    God in his various forms has much to answer for.

  • katerina porter 24th Nov '21 - 12:03pm

    The government does not seem to do anything………

  • Peter Hirst 28th Nov '21 - 2:35pm

    We need to use all available options to help the people of Afghanistan. The sooner the Taliban realise that they must accept direct help to their people the better. Without this aid they are in for a dire winter.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • David Garlick
    Many join the Public sector as they feel that is a way of providing a public service which they prefer to making money for private sector employers. Govt's and...
  • Robin Stafford
    We have a government and to significant extent a public that despises service to the public, believing that self service for personal reward in the private sec...
  • Siv White
    Is GDP just a measure of consumerism?...
  • John Leach
    Did somebody say "Get Brexit Done"? How's that going, eh?...
  • Mick Taylor
    Steve Trevethan. Actually, it's the central bank that creates the money and credits it to the government's account, but apart from that you sum up the case for ...