West provides ‘endless money’ to Ukraine but no aid to Afghans, EU lawmaker says
A member of the European Parliament has criticized the West for its massive financial support for Ukraine while failing to deliver humanitarian aid to war-torn Afghanistan.
Speaking at a European Parliament session on Afghanistan on Friday, Mick Wallace lambasted the West for its unwavering support for Ukraine while turning a blind eye to Afghanistan’s urgent need for food aid.
Wallace, an independent Irish member, blamed the United States and NATO for the multiple crises facing Afghanistan, reminding the West of its two-decade occupation of the country.
“I don’t want to go back too long, but the Taliban came out of the mujahideen, which was set up by the Americans and the Saudis. And then for the last 20 years, the Americans and NATO destroyed the place. They have destroyed the human rights of people who have lived in Afghanistan for 20 years,” he said.
“Americans spent 300 million a day destroying this place and now we are starving them. The World Food Program could only raise a third of the money it needs to feed the millions of people it is trying to feed. And neither the European Union nor the Americans are ready to give them as much money as they want… We can find all the money on the planet to arm Ukraine but we cannot feed the Afghans we destroyed life for 20 years,” he added.
United States + #NATO destroys the human rights of the people who live in #Afghanistan for 20 years – They spent 300 million a day destroying the place + now we are starving them. We can find endless money to pour weapons into Ukraine, but we cannot feed the Afghans whose lives we have destroyed… pic.twitter.com/IbOfKh9n2m
—Mick Wallace (@wallacemick) June 24, 2022
The dire situation in Afghanistan unfolded after US-led allies withdrew from the country in August last year, paving the way for the dramatic return of the Taliban.
Nearly ten months after the US-led international coalition abruptly withdrew from Afghanistan and announced an asset freeze, the country is grappling with a major humanitarian crisis.
According to aid agencies and human rights watchdogs, children are the most affected.
Meanwhile, the country has about $9 billion in overseas assets, including the frozen $7 billion in the United States.
In February, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order that would seize Afghan assets and transfer half of them to a fund ostensibly for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
However, Biden nodded to legal wrangling with some 9/11 families pursuing claims against those assets as a reason for not trying to release the other half of the Afghan funds.
The freeze has continued as the Afghan economy teeters on the brink of collapse, inflation soars and millions of Afghans are on the brink of starvation.
The Taliban government has repeatedly called for the frozen assets to be released, but Washington has continued to push back on calls.
The UN has previously warned that without financial aid or humanitarian relief, Afghanistan would be on a “countdown to disaster”.
In a latest tragic incident in Afghanistan, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern part of the country early Wednesday in the arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.
The earthquake is said to have killed more than 1,000 people and injured 1,500 others, leaving more than 3,000 homes in ruins.
Poor communications and lack of adequate roads are hampering relief efforts in the country.
It is the deadliest earthquake to hit Afghanistan in the Hindukush Mountains lap since 2002, when a magnitude 6.1 earthquake killed around 1,000 people in northern Afghanistan.
Before that, in 1998, a magnitude 6.1 earthquake and subsequent tremors in northeastern Afghanistan killed at least 4,500 people.