According to U.S. officials, the U.S. Congress is expected to fund the UN’s humanitarian work in Afghanistan, but it is unlikely to directly fund the new Taliban government because the world agency is preparing to discuss aid to this war-torn country.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will travel to Geneva on September 13 to hold a high-level meeting on assistance to Afghanistan.
Since its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the United States has set aside approximately US$130 billion for Afghanistan’s security, governance and development, and humanitarian needs.
Congressional aides told Reuters that lawmakers will almost certainly provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced Afghans and refugees, but not to the government itself, at least for now.
Even before the Taliban’s victory, Afghanistan relied heavily on aid—40% of the country’s GDP came from foreign funds.
The United Nations warned that 18 million Afghans are facing a humanitarian disaster, and another 18 million may soon join them. According to reports, as many as 500,000 people may also flee the country due to fear of the Taliban.
The Taliban has not yet formed a new government, but there are reports that a new government will be announced soon.
At the same time, fighting between the Taliban and resistance fighters in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul continues, and there are fears that more civilians will be displaced.
The following are the latest updates:
“Celebratory gunfire” was heard in Kabul overnight
According to reports, gunfire, rockets and broken windows were heard overnight in the Afghan capital, causing panic among civilians.
Videos posted on social media showed the lights and gunfire in Kabul on Friday night. Similar scenes have been reported in other parts of the country under Taliban rule.
In one of the videos, someone heard someone screaming in fear due to gunshots.
For so many people in Kabul, these “celebration gunfire” led to these conversations “Do you remember the civil war…?” pic.twitter.com/vEQJC2eMWC
-Ali M Latifi (@alibomaye) September 3, 2021
Google locks Afghan government account because Taliban seeks email: Reuters
Reuters reported that Google temporarily locked an unknown number of Afghan government e-mail accounts due to increased concerns about the traces of digital documents left by former officials and their international partners.
There are concerns that the new Taliban rulers may use biometric databases to hunt down their enemies.
Google did not confirm the move, but said that the company is monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and “taking temporary actions to ensure the security of related accounts.”
An employee of the former Afghan government told Reuters that the Taliban was seeking to obtain emails from former officials and asked him to keep data on the ministry’s servers where he had worked.
U.S. says it will provide trauma counselling to Afghan refugees
The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Majorcas, said his department is seeking to improve the conditions of Afghan refugees awaiting resettlement.
“I met with more than 40 community organizations, including Afghan-American organizations, to understand their ideas and suggestions,” Majorcas said on Friday. “I heard that we will implement their recommendations more forcefully-including cultural competence, access to counseling, trauma counseling and pastoral care.”
UN Secretary-General will convene Afghanistan Aid Conference
United Nations spokesperson Stephen Dujarric said on Friday that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will hold an international conference in Geneva on September 13 to raise humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.
“The meeting will advocate for a rapid increase in funding so that life-saving humanitarian operations can continue; and call for full and unimpeded humanitarian assistance to ensure that Afghans continue to receive the basic services they need,” Dujarik said in a statement.
“Afghanistan is facing an imminent humanitarian disaster. Nearly half of Afghanistan’s 38 million people need humanitarian assistance.”
Taliban officials meet with Pakistani ambassador to Qatar
Taliban spokesperson Sohail Shahin said on Friday that the Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohamed Abbas Stnikzai met with Pakistani Ambassador Said Asan Raza Shah in Qatar.
“The two sides discussed the current situation in Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance, bilateral relations based on common interests and respect, reconstruction of Afghanistan, and issues related to promoting the movement of the people of Tolkhan and Spinboldak,” Shaheen tweeted Wrote that he was referring to the border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan. .
The Pakistani Embassy in Doha confirmed the meeting.
Amb Syed Ahsan Raza Shah welcomed the 7-member high-level TPC delegation led by His Excellency Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanakzai at Emb of Pak, Pak, Doha. Discussed matters related to the interests of the latest developers and biltrl. Agree to continue regular contact with each other. @ForeignOfficePk @SMQureshiPTI pic.twitter.com/IQhiwyk9XB
-Pakistani Embassy Qatar (@PakinQatar) September 3, 2021