Taliban calls on US to show ‘heart,’ thanks world for $1.2 billion in aid

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Taliban calls on US to show 'heart,' thanks world for $1.2 billion in aid

The Taliban on Tuesday thanked the international community for pledging more than $1 billion in emergency aid to Afghanistan — and called on the US to donate more.

Amir Khan Mutaqi, the foreign minister in Afghanistan’s new Taliban-run Cabinet, asked Washington to show appreciation for the militant group allowing the US to complete its massive evacuation effort.

“America is a big country, they need to have a big heart,” he said at a press conference.

Muttaqi’s comments came a day after the United Nations said that $1.2 billion in humanitarian assistance had been promised to Afghanistan, with some $64 million coming from the US.

“Afghanistan is poor. It needs all the help” the world can give, Mutaqi said, in his first press conference since the Taliban formed an interim government a week ago.

An internally displaced Afghani child looks on at a temporary shelter at a park in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 14, 2021.
An internally displaced Afghan child looks on at a temporary shelter at a park in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 14, 2021.
STRINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Since the Islamist group completed its takeover of Afghanistan on Aug. 15, the US Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank cut off the country’s access to funds.

“[We] helped the US until the evacuation of their last person, but unfortunately, the US, instead of thanking us, froze our assets,” Mutaqi griped.

Poverty and hunger have spiraled since the Taliban regained power, and the country is on the brink of an economic crisis.

The UN warned Monday that Afghans are facing “perhaps their most perilous hour.”

“The people of Afghanistan are facing the collapse of an entire country — all at once,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during a UN conference.

Internally displaced Afghan families live in a temporary shelter at a park in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 14, 2021.
Internally displaced Afghan families live in a temporary shelter at a park in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 14, 2021.
EPA

More than half of Afghans — or about 18 million people — survive on less than a dollar a day and require aid, experts say.

The country is also facing famine as the latest drought threatens food supplies. Half of all Afghan children under 5 already suffer from acute malnutrition, according to the UN.

Muttaqi vowed that group would distribute the funds without corruption, to help alleviate poverty in the country.

“The Islamic Emirate will try its best to deliver this aid to the needy people in a completely transparent manner,” he said.

With Post wires

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