Hameed Hakimi

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A man walks by a vandalized mural depicting a group of women on 14 August 2022 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo by Nava Jamshidi/Getty Images.

One year after the Taliban’s ascent to power in Afghanistan, the plight of Afghans is worsening. The economic situation is dire, malnutrition rates are increasing, women’s rights are being curtailed, there is continuing migration and internal displacement, and the health care system is crumbling – the already high maternal mortality rates are thought to have increased four-fold.

Since seizing power, the Taliban claim they have achieved full territorial control, established security and removed ‘islands of illegitimate power’. However, while physical security has improved by some measures – aid agencies report enhanced access to some provinces – a significant rise in attacks by the Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-KP) targeting Shia and other minorities is one of many reminders that Afghanistan is far from secure.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man collecting water from a water storage at Haji Rashid village of Bala Murghab district in Badghis province, 15 October 2021. Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images.

As the Taliban took Kabul last August and completed their spectacular return to power, international media attention drove a frenzy of global interest in Afghanistan. While Afghanistan is no longer headline news, the country is facing a perfect storm of worsening humanitarian, economic, health and governance crises. The United Nations projects that at least 24 million Afghans, more than half the population, will need humanitarian assistance in 2022. With almost 9 million people on the edge of starvation, Afghanistan is fast becoming the most food insecure country in the world.

Meanwhile, the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan is at an impasse with the international donor community.…  Seguir leyendo »

Displaced Afghan women and children from Kunduz pray at a mosque which is sheltering them in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images.

The scenes of tens of thousands of families displaced by the battles across the country who fled to the few remaining public parks in Kabul, along with the images of overcrowded airports, are stark reminders of the harrowing costs of war to civilians.

US president Joe Biden defended the decision to end what was increasingly portrayed in the US as a ‘forever war’, but the Taliban – emboldened and legitimized by the Doha Agreement in February 2020 with the Donald Trump administration – opted to push for more territorial gains immediately after Biden’s announcement of a full and unconditional withdrawal in April.…  Seguir leyendo »

Taliban fighters in Kandahar on 13 August 2021. ‘The Taliban’s fortunes rise with each district, town and province they capture.’ Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In recent days, a ferocious wave of fighting has enveloped Afghanistan as the Taliban take more and more territory from the Afghan government. The developing situation makes it extremely difficult to predict how the coming weeks and months will unfold in the country. One thing we do know, however, is that while most media commentary focuses on who has the upper hand militarily, the country inevitably faces a humanitarian catastrophe. Ordinary Afghans are confronted with a triple calamity: dire security, health and economic prospects. These cruel conditions predate the Trump administration’s Doha agreement with the Taliban in February 2020, which began the process of US military withdrawal; they also predate President Biden’s confirmation that full withdrawal will occur by 11 September this year.…  Seguir leyendo »