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Sanctions inflict ‘infuriating’ suffering in Afghanistan, says Red Cross

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KABUL: Economic sanctions against Afghanistan are depriving millions of the basics they need to survive, said a top Red Cross official, warning Afghan people are suffering from a massive man-made catastrophe.

“The economic sanctions meant to punish those in power in Kabul are instead freezing millions of people across Afghanistan out of the basics they need to survive,” Dominik Stillhart, operations director at the International Committee of the Red Cross, said in a statement on Monday.

Stillhart, who ended his six-day visit to Afghanistan, described the situation in the country as absolutely infuriating. “It’s so infuriating because this suffering is man-made,” he added, according to AFP.

Afghanistan is facing what UN agencies have described as “one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters” since the collapse of Kabul in mid-August, which came after the United States’ disastrous withdrawal from the country.

Since the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan, the US and its allies have imposed sanctions on the country and deprived Afghans of any aid and assistance on the pretext of pressuring the Taliban.

However, human rights activists maintain that economic sanctions generally do not punish the rulers, but rather, hurt the population, lead to mass starvation, and fuel extremism in the targeted country.

He also warned that “sanctions on banking services are sending the economy into free-fall and holding up bilateral aid,” adding that the current situation in Afghanistan heralds “a serious food crisis even before the worst of winter sets in.”

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