UN exempts humanitarian aid to Afghans from ban

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution that exempts humanitarian financial assistance from sanctions imposed on Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders.

The council unanimously approved the resolution on Wednesday, paving the way for emergency aid to reach Afghans, who face severe food shortages.

The economic crisis in Afghanistan has deepened since the Islamist group Taliban regained control in August and the country’s overseas assets were frozen.

Aid groups such as non-governmental organizations are trying to offer financial and other assistance. But there were concerns that such aid could violate a past council resolution that imposed sanctions on some Taliban leaders.

The latest resolution says provisions of funds, goods, and services for humanitarian aid activities do not violate such sanctions.

It says the UN will examine and report to the council every six months whether the humanitarian assistance is received by those in need. The council will review the situation in one year.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths released a statement welcoming the decision.

He said, “This milestone decision will enable urgently needed humanitarian action to save lives and livelihoods in Afghanistan.”

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