Taliban Prime Minister Mohammed Hassan Akhund has been criticised by Afghans and the international community over comments he made on the country’s worsening famine crisis.
In his first speech since the extremist group took control of Afghanistan in August, Mr Akhund addressed the nation on Saturday in a radio broadcast.
During the 30-minute broadcast, the elusive Taliban leader touched upon issues of poverty, inflation, and even the Taliban’s brutal treatment of citizens, among other things.
However, his comments on the famine in Afghanistan earned sharp criticism.
The second khalifa of Islam delivered food to the destitute at night on his own shoulders. His servant offered to assist, but he said that God will ask him about this case, not his servant
Assem Mayar, expert in the study of droughts and famines
“The Taliban should not be blamed for the country’s problems … we are working overtime to solve the problems of the people,” he said. He added that the famine “is a test from God, after people rebelled against him”.
Afghanistan’s economy, which is largely dependent on foreign aid, received a severe blow after the fall of the Afghan government and the Taliban takeover, as many countries and international agencies withdrew their support and aid. This was compounded by increasing drought and displacement which has gone unaddressed, contributing to what has been called “the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth”.
A Taliban fighter prays next to a demonstration organised by the Afghan Society of Muslim Youth, demanding the release of frozen international money in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP Photo
Approximately 22.5 million Afghans are facing acute food insecurity in the coming months, according to a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Program. Due to widespread unemployment and an economic crisis, many Afghan families are struggling to make ends meet, and have put up household items and personal belongings for sale to survive.
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