KABUL – The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, a prominent humanitarian organization, announced on Wednesday that it has temporarily suspended some of its operations in response to an order from the Taliban instructing them to halt their activities in the country. The Taliban’s directive came last week after a controversial incident involving the burning of a Koran in Stockholm, though it remained unclear which specific institutions would be affected by this order.
In light of the situation, the aid group engaged in discussions with the Taliban administration and subsequently decided to pause certain activities. The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan plays a crucial role in the country, employing thousands of Afghan staff who work in various sectors such as health, education, and rural development. Notably, their health clinics treated 2.5 million patients in the previous year alone.
However, the organization did not provide detailed information about the specific operations affected by the suspension. The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan is actively working towards gaining the necessary approvals to resume its operations as soon as possible.
As of now, there has been no immediate response from the Taliban-run economy ministry, which oversees non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan, regarding the situation.
It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan’s aid sector has already been facing significant challenges due to various restrictions, including limitations on female aid workers. Moreover, funding cuts for the United Nations-led annual humanitarian plan indicate that donor countries are scaling back their financial support.
The situation remains uncertain for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and other humanitarian organizations operating in the country, as they navigate the complexities of the evolving political landscape under Taliban rule.