The earthquake that struck Afghanistan had a seismic impact on the whole planet, and the severe extent of the destruction caused an influx of humanitarian aid in Kabul. The relative isolation of Paktika in the nation, which is encircled by mountains and lacks basic medical services, is a symbol of the larger Afghan quagmire, which needs quick care. If the post-US exit possibilities are ignored, Kabul will confront many more challenges as the average Afghan must deal with a government that is not internationally recognized and a substantial economic collapse. As the earthquake shook the country, a populace already on the verge of internal security quagmires realized its strategic predicament: the ordinary Afghan lacks basic amenities such as health, education, access to clean drinking water, and money to support livelihoods.
According to forecasts and trends, Kabul will undoubtedly see an unsettling reality in 2022 that includes increased poverty, widespread hunger, and food insecurity. Geopolitical issues, such as Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and the fallout from supply-side shocks, which are disproportionately affecting the world’s poorest nations, only make the situation worse. This is also true of Afghanistan, and the earthquake of 2022, which claimed hundreds of lives, should serve as a wake-up call to the international community, regional nations, donors, and organizations to do more.
According to the United Nations’ 2022 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which was published with aid from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program, 19.7 million people, or 50% of Afghanistan’s population, struggle with chronic hunger or daily subsistence. Kabul’s condition has gotten worse since the US-led exit from the country in 2021, with a contracting economy, limited access to international aid, and a crippling security scenario that needs immediate international intervention. This is also true of Afghanistan, and the earthquake of 2022, which claimed hundreds of lives, should serve as a wake-up call to the international community, regional nations, donors, and organizations to do more. The negligence of the Biden administration in 2022 is a factor in the issue, and to fill the void, the international community must unite its efforts to solve problems including high child mortality rates and a faltering agricultural sector.
The Biden administration has, in fact, ignored Kabul’s situation since taking office instead of imagining legislation over giving a holistic solution to the diverse humanitarian quagmires developing in the nation. Even though Afghanistan has borne the brunt of a decade-long conflict and its largely agrarian economy has suffered as a result of the United States’ refusal to release Afghan assets unconditionally, it appears that the Biden administration places a higher priority on pursuing geopolitical rivalry than on responding to humanitarian crises. The unrestricted release of all Afghan assets was crucial for the agricultural sector to recover, but the Biden administration prevented this with an executive order that unfroze the $7 billion owing to Kabul and made sure that half of it was kept for 9/11 victims. Afghans, human rights groups, and peace activists who believed that Washington, D.C. had abandoned Kabul for its selfish objectives were extremely critical of this. The populace has been particularly hard hit by the crisis in Eastern Europe’s rising food costs in 2022. The unrestricted supply of wheat that must enter Afghanistan for it to lessen its reliance on exports and guarantee effective domestic supplies has also been impacted by a reduction in agricultural earnings. That has also gone unnoticed.
The horrific facts are being addressed by only international organizations through substantial funding by regional nations with a direct stake in Afghanistan’s security. The FAO and the World Bank allocated $195 million as part of an emergency initiative to help small-scale farmers who are still susceptible to the economic shocks of the global geopolitical environment in 2022. This project addresses the issue of acute food insecurity. Through late 2022 and through March–November 2023, the FAO will also assist over 2.1 million people, with an emphasis on meeting children’s nutritional requirements, implementing climate-smart agricultural techniques, and connecting Afghan beneficiaries with local markets. Contrarily, even though Afghan youth continue to demonstrate against American policies that are to blame for Kabul’s financial capitulation, the Biden administration has not made a deliberate effort to develop a comprehensive humanitarian package to solve Afghanistan’s economic disaster. For instance, Arash Azzizada, co-founder of “Afghans for a Better Tomorrow,” believed that the country’s institutions had collapsed and that US sanctions on the Kabul regime were to blame for the devastation of the nation. Afghanistan’s nation-state has historically been extensively influenced and pressured by Western donors due to its historical dependency on foreign aid, where the bulk of its institutions are either supported by the U.S. government or the European Union. This has persisted despite estimates of 1 million children dying each year and up to 20 million adults experiencing food insecurity.
In light of this ongoing neglect, the international community must maintain its focus on Afghanistan and recognize the commendable efforts being made by the UN and the international financial community to promote a bright future for the war-torn nation. Kabul has been neglected, marginalized, or forced for far too long; this needs to change.