Imagine that you are a mother, with your child so malnourished that his tiny body can barely function as severe cold, lack of clean waterand sustained hunger devastate their immune system and infections such as pneumonia and acute acute diarrhea take hold.
Local clinics are not functioning due to corruption and lack of funding. Seeking help is complicated because a male chaperone must accompany you on the road, not only in a city or a larger city where services may be available.
Afghan women struggle every day to access basic medical care for themselves and their families, as innocent children and desperate mothers are left to shoulder the horrific and unnecessary burdens of preventable and curable diseases. But, at the same time, the Taliban leaders responsible for the decline of the health system have no problems accessing assistance overseas, even if many of them are under international sanctions.
This is inexcusable. Through the sadistic imposition of gender apartheid, these power-hungry men and their peers have been relentless in stifling the agency, well-being and rights of Afghan women and girls. The UN and its member states must fully strengthen the existing international sanctions regime and use it as leverage to induce the Taliban leadership to improve conditions for Afghan women.
In the past three months, the UN Security Council has granted temporary travel ban and asset freeze exemptions allowing three internationally sanctioned Taliban leaders to travel to Turkey for medical treatment. These include Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi; Abdul Baqi Bashir Abdul Shah (also known as Abdul Baqi Haqqani), the head of the National Examination Authority of Afghanistan; and Hedayatullah Badri, the head of Afghanistan’s central bank and former acting finance minister.
There may be a precedent for UN-sanctioned individuals receiving travel ban exemptions to seek medical care on humanitarian grounds, but allowing sanctioned members of the Taliban to do so is a grave injustice when the people of Afghanistan is suffering a dire humanitarian crisis that has only one solution. was aggravated by the actions of the Taliban.
For example, the shortage of medical staff has exploded because of the Taliban prohibitions on women’s work, education and freedom of movement. Female medical students stayed prevented from taking the exit exams (by the National Examination Authority that Abdul Baqi Haqqani oversees), preventing most from accessing the necessary specialty courses and certifications.
Worse yet, Afghanistan’s health system is on the brink of collapse, as the Taliban channel more state resources towards the defense and intelligence services, despite collecting record levels of tax and customs income Ban nonprofits and UN entities from employing Afghan women and funding humanitarian assistance deficiencies they limited the reach of aid organizations. In turn, vital community lifelines – such as rural clinics and nutrition centers – are closed.
Inadequate access to health services has resulted in catastrophic consequences for vulnerable Afghans, especially mothers and their children who have faced pregnancy and childbirth complications, malnutrition, and preventable or treatable infectious diseases (such as measles, COVID 19, choleraand dengue). Most disturbingly, UNICEF estimates at least 167 Afghan children die every day from treatable health problems. In addition, one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world continues to rise, with about a woman die every two hours from preventable pre- and postnatal complications in Afghanistan.
Women and children including more than 90 percent of the victims killed and more than two-thirds of those injured in the earthquakes that devastated Herat province in October, according to UNICEF and the World Health Organization. This skewed impact was no doubt exacerbated by Taliban edicts confining women to their homes.
The extremist ideology of the Taliban is hurting the Afghan population at the same time that the Taliban members are filling their personal coffers. So it’s a big mistake for him United Nations to allow Taliban leaders to travel abroad and access financial assets they have stashed away in other countries.
Externally, the Taliban present themselves as reformers who can guarantee the stability of Afghanistan. But they continue to benefit from drug, arms and human trafficking, as well as the exploitation of humanitarian aid distribution and natural resources.
The UN list of sanctioned Taliban leaders and entities has not been fully updated since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021. The list’s leverage is further weakened by failing member states. to maintain the travel ban or follow the correct exemption request procedures.
To encourage greater compliance and accountability, the Security Council’s Sanctions Monitoring Committee should publish a detailed and permanent record of the exemptions granted, which are currently only available during the period when an exemption is active. The United Nations and the US government will also update their respective sanctions lists to include new Taliban leaders who have risen through the ranks by August 2021.
The Afghan people deserve better than life under the brutal rule of the Taliban. Although the leverage of the international community has changed, it still has a role to play in holding the Taliban accountable.
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Image Source : thediplomat.com