UN: International community need to find a way for Afghanistan stabilization

The head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the international community and the Taliban need to find a way to stabilize Afghanistan by mutual agreement.

Iran PressAmerica: In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday night, Filippo Grandi, the head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said the world faces a difficult choice. He said it needs to balance the danger that an isolated Afghanistan would descend into violence and chaos against the political minefield supporting a Taliban-led government would present.

“The international community will have to balance pragmatism, the need to keep Afghanistan stable and viable, and the political considerations that would mean supporting a government led by the Taliban," said Grandi.

Grandi said a compromise is urgently needed to avoid an economic meltdown that could cause violence and chaos that would ignite a mass exodus. He said that a collapse of the already fragile Afghan economy would engulf Afghanistan's neighbors and ripple across the world.

“It’s urgent. This is not one of those developmental issues that one can discuss for five years before coming to a conclusion, but it will require compromises on the part of everybody,” he said. “I think that the international community will have to adapt some of its more stringent rules about working with governments ... and the Taliban will have to make compromises as well."

Grandi said he met with Taliban ministers and found that they listened. They have discussions among themselves, suggesting some might be open to an approach that is less harsh, less restrictive than their past rule, he said. He added, however, that their actions will judge them.

He said the task of meeting Afghanistan's humanitarian needs has global support, as indicated by the $1.2 billion raised by the UN on Monday.

Grandi said humanitarian aid must be delivered quickly to keep people fed and sheltered, noting that winter is approaching fast.

More than 3.5 million people have been displaced by the fighting in recent years and more than half a million in just the last month. Many are living in makeshift camps in parks in the Afghan capital. Dozens of families take shelter under tattered sheets strung across the rope.

In Kabul's Shahr-e-Now Park, 63 families live in squalid conditions, many of the children are sick, and the only portable bathroom has long since exceeded capacity. Women wash behind a foul-smelling curtain.

Conditions will only worsen as winter approaches, said Grandi.

“This political, military crisis, this change in government that has occurred has caught the entire population at the worst possible moment, emerging from years of insecurity,” said Grandi. “This is why it’s so difficult now to tackle it.”


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