KABUL – In a stark development, the humanitarian aid extended to Afghanistan through UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) has been dramatically curtailed by 59%, according to an announcement made in the UK Parliament on Saturday. This revelation is expected to have far-reaching implications for one of the world’s most impoverished nations.
The impacts of this decision have been meticulously outlined in the Equality Impact Assessment, laying bare the repercussions for some of the most destitute countries currently grappling with severe humanitarian crises. Notably, Yemen’s UK ODA allocation faces a 45% reduction, while Afghanistan’s allocation faces an astonishing 76% reduction.
Efforts were made by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to mitigate these cuts, yet the additional support that could be extended remained limited. Consequently, Afghanistan finds itself confronting a staggering 59% decrease in aid.
This evaluation, presented by the International Development Committee, emphasizes that the percentage drop was revised from 76% to 59% following impassioned concerns voiced by female medical professionals in Afghanistan. These experts asserted that such an aid reduction would invariably trigger a distressing upswing in maternal mortality rates.
Dr. Najmul Sama Shafajo stressed, “The World Health Organization (WHO) must play a vigilant role in this context. Furthermore, other organizations dedicated to aiding women and children should not underestimate the gravity of the situation. It is imperative to rally international assistance.”
Since the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the humanitarian predicament within the country has reached dire proportions. Particularly, the plight of Afghan women has experienced a sharp decline amid this massive humanitarian crisis. Essential resources such as food remain scarce, and the living conditions of women have regrettably worsened.