Foreign aid drops sharply as Taliban abuses strain Afghanistan’s health system, group says – By Rahim Faiez (Associated Press) / Feb 12, 2024
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Human Rights Watch said Monday that Afghanistan’s public health system has been hit hard following a sharp reduction in foreign assistance, coupled with serious Taliban abuses against women and girls, jeopardizing the right to healthcare of millions of Afghans.
In a report, the New York-based watchdog said this has left the “Afghan population increasingly vulnerable to severe malnutrition and illness” among other effects of inadequate medical care.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 drove millions into poverty and hunger after foreign aid stopped almost overnight. Sanctions against the Taliban rulers, a halt on bank transfers and frozen billions in Afghanistan’s currency reserves, have cut off access to global institutions and the outside money that supported the aid-dependent economy before the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces.
In 2023, the World Food Program warned that malnutrition rates in Afghanistan were at a record high with half the country suffering from severe hunger throughout the year.