While Afghanistan’s economy is completely defunded and on the verge of total collapse and various organizations denounce horrendous human rights abuses, Taliban leaders continue to deny the reality by defending their management and even claim to be better off than in the last 20 years.
Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi recently praised the work done by the Islamist group since they seized power by force four months ago. According to him, the group has provided security to Afghanistan and “did what the United States and other countries could not do in 20 years,” Fox News reported.
In four months we have “succeeded in generating the kind of security that the United States and the armies of 50 countries have not been able to do in 20 years,” Muttaqi said. “We have succeeded in this on our own, and for this we are worthy of praise, not sanctions,” he continued, referring to the sanctions imposed by the international community after they took over the government by force.
Muttaqi continued his quasi-fantasy speech by claiming that the Taliban respect human rights and “work for the people.”
Despite the Taliban minister’s statements proclaiming to represent a secure and responsible nation, the reality shows that the economy is on the verge of total collapse.
Almost 80% of the previous Afghan government’s budget came from the international community. That money, which was used to fund hospitals, schools, factories and government ministries, is now cut off.
Sanctions have crippled the banks and the United Nations (UN), the United States and other countries are struggling to find a way to get hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, bypassing the Taliban.
So critical is the economic situation in Afghanistan that, according to the UN, millions of children are suffering from severe malnutrition and 97% of its population will fall below the poverty level during 2022 if a real change of course is not implemented.
“We are facing a total collapse of development in addition to humanitarian and economic crises,” said Kanni Wignaraja, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.
“Half of the population is already in need of humanitarian assistance. This analysis suggests that we are on track for a rapid and catastrophic deterioration in the lives of Afghanistan’s most vulnerable people,” Wignaraja continued.
When it comes to human rights, the Taliban also try to portray a completely different reality from what witnesses report. While they claim their commitment to respecting these rights and their willingness to “maintain a good relationship with the world,” behind the scenes, allegations abound of a return to gender segregation, killings of ethnic minorities, increased repression of journalists and activists, killings in public squares, beatings of women, gang rapes of women, and military training of children, among other aberrations.