Afghanistan

The current situation in Afghanistan presents all manner of impossible decisions with no right answer.

Over the past twenty years, at the cost of a substantial amount of money and far too many irreplaceable lives, the West attempted to build a viable nation. This was not entirely without positive results - the country has not been used as a base to commit terrorist atrocities in the rest of the world since 2001 and a generation of Afghan women grew up with rights and access to education and healthcare.

However, all those efforts were undercut because the elected government of Afghanistan proved to be an incompetent kleptocracy for which almost the only argument in its defence was that the unstable coalition of brain-dead barbarians which replaced it faster than anyone thought possible when Western troops pulled out was obviously going to be, and is, even worse.

We now have the situation where an entire country is in serious danger of mass starvation, and although the primary reasons for this are the corruption and incompetence of the previous Afghan government and the dangerous lunacy of the present one, the Western powers which were propping up that previous government cannot avoid our share of responsibility.

Nor can we afford to give aid in forms which might be co-opted to support terrorist campaigns.

In this impossible situation the UK government announced yesterday that  Britain will provide £75 million of emergency aid to 1.8 million Afghans, saving lives, protecting women and girls and supporting stability in the region.  

  • As winter descends, Afghanistan has been crippled by drought, conflict and an economic crisis, creating a serious risk of migration, regional instability and humanitarian crises.
  • That is why the UK has promised £75 million of emergency aid to provide over 1.8 million people in Afghanistan with life-saving food, emergency health services, shelter, water and hygiene services. The funding will be channelled through a range of organisations including the UN and World Food Programme.
  • The UK is leading the way on the response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and these funds will save lives, protect women and girls and support stability in the region.

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