November 18, 2021

Hunger Crisis in Afghanistan

Is it time to stop the freeze of the country's financial assets and donor aid or will that just legitimise the Taliban? Ed Butler speaks to John Sifton, the Asia advocacy director for the campaign group Human Rights Watch, who says the west should ease up on its sanctions to help alleviate the situation. But Alex Zerden, who worked with the US Treasury department in Kabul from 2018 to 2019 and is now a senior fellow at the Centre for New American Security in Washington DC, defends the current US refusal to open the financial taps, says the Taliban itself is primarily responsible for the mess the country's in. Ed also speaks to health worker Karsten Noko from MSF (doctors without borders), who is desperately trying to keep its operations running without properly functioning bank services. And Masuda Sultan, a US-Afghan aid worker, who campaigns for the non-profit Unfreeze Afghanistan, tells him how bad the situation is there.

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