Taliban unable to pay health workers putting Afghanistan at risk of humanitarian crisis

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Amid rising fears of a hunger crisis, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned the country is “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe”. The country’s economy is estimated to have contracted by 40 percent since the Taliban took control in August.

Peter Maurer, ICRC president, said: “The main problem is the lack of cash to pay salaries to deliver social services which have existed before.

“Let’s not forget that most of these medical doctors, nurses, operators of water systems and electricity systems are still the same people. It is the leadership which has changed, but not these people.”

The Taliban leadership, which recently banned all foreign currency transactions, has urged the US Congress to ease sanctions and release Afghanistan’s overseas assets in order for the government to be able to pay public sector employees.

International aid organisations have been unable to wire transfer payments to accounts in Afghanistan as currently international currency cannot be changed into local currency by a network of banks.

Mr Maurer said the country could slide into a hunger crisis if drought impacts food production and if the disruption of the economy continues.


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