Aid to Afghanistan should resume: Ex-British Army chief

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LONDON: International help to Afghanistan should be resumed despite the country’s worsening humanitarian catastrophe, according to a former British Army chief.

The removal of aid following the Taliban takeover last year has “led to newborns dying and people going hungry,” Lord Dannatt said, adding that the Taliban’s rollback of women’s rights should not prevent Western nations from donating to Afghanistan.

Aid is still delivered to the country, but through non-governmental organizations and charities rather than national governments.

“We departed somewhat unnecessarily a year ago, but then I think utterly foolishly slashed supplies to Afghanistan,” Lord Dannatt stated.

“People are going hungry. We went there to aid the Afghan people, and now we’re simply watching them suffer — it’s outrageous, in my opinion.

“And I think (UK Home Secretary) Priti Patel and other members of the government should take no pride in what is happening. They should be starting again — as should the Americans who are principally responsible for what happened.

“(They) should be significantly increasing their aid packages again to allow the people to have food and to thrive in Afghanistan,” he added.

“Having cut off aid to Afghanistan — that is why babies are dying in hospitals, that is why people are starving up and down the country.

“Now, is that right? As I said before, when we spent 20 years building up Afghanistan … why should we suddenly stop helping the people now because we don’t like the Taliban?

“Yes, their human rights record is not good, they have stopped girls going to secondary school. But is that the right price to pay for the majority of Afghan people to be starving and babies to be dying? I don’t think so.”

Source: Arab News

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