No conflict or crisis can be deconstructed quickly and easily.
And Afghanistan is no exception.
Yet in its case, we do know what could immediately alleviate the suffering its currently under – and prevent this humanitarian crisis from deepening.
This is what this article is about.
I have previously written about the nightmarish predictions that international bodies and various aid agencies had for Afghanistan. Tragically, the situation now is as dire as predicted.
A new UN report released in March 2022 states that a number as high as 95 per cent of Afghan households don’t have enough to eat. Malnutrion and food insecurity are rampant. Accute hunger rose from 14 million people in July 2021 to 23 million in March 2022. Here let’s not forget the population of Afghanistan is just over 40 million.
We know that political turmoil – on top of devastation of a 20-year war – after the Taliban took power in August 2021 is a big factor in this crisis.
But we also know what one other factor that could immediately alleviate this suffering of the Afghan people is: these are the frozen funds that belong to the people of Afghanistan, and that are kept in mostly U.S. accounts.
(Please read and hear more about it here)
More and more organizations are calling for the U.S. to return these funds back to the country that is in a desperate need to pay its employers, to resume paying its pensions, and to finally start healing.
What could be done with these funds once they’re unfrozen? What are civil societies in Afghanistan saying about it? What about the representatives of the Afghan Central Bank?
To hear about all this and more, please watch this webinar which is my video recommendation for today.
In it, amazing ladies who made up the first civil society women’s delegation to Afghanistan since the takeover of the Taliban in April 2021 share what they have learned on on their trip.
They represent different organizations that all demand the same thing – for the U.S. government to release the money to the Afghan government. It belongs to Afghanistan, and this is what the country desperately needs.
They also talk about an alternative to sanctions and other types of punishment that Afghanistan has been under; how we can push and influece a regime as closed as the Taliban’s, no matter how unsual it might sound.
Please watch it and share it widely.
If you’d like to learn more about this campaign to release the funds to Afghanistan, please see what Unfreeze Afghanistan – a coalition created for specifically this – has been doing.
A publisher locked up for exposing war crimes of the empire — and all done in our name.
This is what has been happening to Julian Assange for the last ten years.
It is something huge, criminal, and extremely concerning. If you’re not following it or aren’t concerned about it, you should be.
Joe Biden is on a trip to the Middle East: he’s visiting Israel and Saudi Arabia. What this shows is how little respect – if at all – his presidency has for human rights. Apartheid, military occupation, killings of civilians, murdering of journalists – everything goes. And there is definitely no room for Palestinian human rights.
The people of Ecuador have just had a national strike – and won!
After more than two weeks of country-wide protests, the current government has agreed to meet their demands.
What was happening there and why?
To answer these questions, hear what two journalists reporting on Ecuador have to say.
We’d like to believe that we’re all on the march towards gender equality and ending gender-based violence – and in a way, we are – but its setbacks are obvious and horrifying.
They’re about women’s rights to their bodies, to making their own choices, and to making those choices without fear for their safety.
Although it was never “hidden” for the ones who are interested in Palestine, Israeli state violence can’t be more obvious now. Not to acknowledge it is not a matter of access to knowledge; it’s a matter of choice.
It’s been two years since George Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin. The protests that followed launched the US – and, in a way, the world – into a new stage of racial reckoning that the US is still in. Some new laws have been passed, and some old statues finally toppled.
But the system holds. On the 2nd anniversary of George Floyd’s killing, I’d like to share a beautiful interview with Toluse Olorunnipa and Robert Samuels who have just released a book on George Floyd.
Attacks on Palestinians have intensified during the holy month of Ramadan again – they resemble what we saw last year. And the year before.
I’ve written a lot about Palestine but it’s time combine several things that I’ve partly mentioned in my previous episodes and focus this one on something rather obvious: the concept of erasure.
What would it take to negotiate a peace settlement in Ukraine?
What could Vladimir Putin see as a way out of this?
What role is the US currently playing here?
What’s happening with China?
And what’s the state of journalism and the mainstream media as the war in Ukraine is happening?
As the war in Ukraine has started, we have seen some absolutely hypocritical statements made by U.S. officials.
But they’re only hypocritical if we know a bit of the context here.
And when we do, we are much better equipped to construct our own moral compasses, without any help from the U.S. This is what I illustrate and explain much better in my episode.
If we believe that peace in Ukraine is possible, we have to ask what it would look like. What could a negotiated settlement between Ukraine and Russia be?
Listen to what Anatol Lieven from The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft has to say.
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