Australia

Afghan ambassador in exile warns ‘big question’ over capability of Taliban’s earthquake response

Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia, Wahidullah Waissi, has raised doubts about the Taliban’s ability to respond to the devastating earthquake, while urging the international community to play a major role in the recovery effort.
Representatives of the former Afghan government – overthrown by the Taliban – are now speaking for the first time since the country’s capital fell, Kabul.

The quake, which killed more than 1,000 people, prompted Mr Waissi to put aside resistance before speaking in public and addressing his country’s current situation.

He told SBS News he was “heartbroken” to see the disaster hit his country as he raised concerns about the Taliban’s ability to respond to the suffering of the crisis.
“I think that’s the biggest question,” he said.

“After the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, there was a huge brain drain, including the expertise that was responsible for taking care of this kind of assistance.

“The whole system is falling apart, and the number of victims is rising because of the mud and rocks.
“They are still there and need urgent support.”
Since taking office, Anthony Albanese has continued his position in the former Morrison government, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the Taliban.
Australia has also continued to recognize Mr Waissi – who was appointed almost a year ago before the Taliban took power – in his role as the Afghan people’s representative.

Since then, his focus has remained on providing consular support in response to the many challenges facing the people of Afghanistan.

People carry a body that was removed from the rubble of a building after an earthquake shook Afghanistan.People carry a body that was removed from the rubble of a building after an earthquake shook Afghanistan.

Authorities say about 500 homes have been destroyed in parts of Spera district in Afghanistan. Source: Getty / Anadolu Agency

The latest incident also comes along with Afghanistan struggling with a severe economic crisis and famine.

In response to the Taliban’s takeover last year, many countries imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions in development aid.

But support continues, however, from international agencies such as the United Nations.

THE MOST

The exiled ambassador said he maintained faith in the ability of aid groups to work on the ground without money from the Taliban regime.
“The international community can play a major role – they are already working together in terms of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
“Afghanistan has relied on aid [a] very long [time].
“The experiences of NGOs and local civil society communities are constantly working to channel their money into the affected areas.”
He added that the Australian government was “doing its best” in response to humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.
In April this year, the Morrison government announced another $ 40 million in ongoing support for Afghanistan.

This makes a total commitment of $ 140 million for the period 2021-2024.

Afghan children stand near a house destroyed in an earthquake in the Spera district in the southwestern part of Khost province, Afghanistan.Afghan children stand near a house destroyed in an earthquake in the Spera district in the southwestern part of Khost province, Afghanistan.

Afghan children are standing near a house destroyed in an earthquake in the southwestern part of Khost province. Source: AAP / AP

Mr Waissi said that due to the exile situation he did not have “communication with the current regime in Afghanistan” to influence the response of the new regime.

“We do not represent the current regime – we represent the people of Afghanistan and of course the people are the main point of our work,” he said.
Poor communication and a lack of proper roads also hinder the recovery effort.
Mr Waissi asked if he intended to seek asylum in Australia, saying he wanted to continue serving his people.
“This is very important because there is a need to serve the people we are continuing our service to.”

The United Nations has warned that nearly 20 million people in Afghanistan – nearly half the population – are facing famine.

Afghan ambassador in exile warns ‘big question’ over capability of Taliban’s earthquake response Source link Afghan ambassador in exile warns ‘big question’ over capability of Taliban’s earthquake response

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