In the last few months of 2022, Germany extracted 24,000 people from Afghanistan. The UK has so far resettled 6,300 people in total in its Afghan citizens resettlement scheme which opened in January 2022.
I have asked HMG this Question for Written Answer: what recent steps it has taken to address famine and food insecurity in Afghanistan; and if it will reaffirm Britain’s humanitarian commitment by providing resources to help Afghanistan’s electricity shortage?
20 million people in Afghanistan are at risk from food insecurity. Compounding the problem of famine and food insecurity is the fact that the aid architecture in Afghanistan is not yet fit for purpose – making it difficult to logistically deliver aid.
Energy insecurity is also exacerbating the food crisis in Afghanistan. Nearly 80% of the country’s electricity supply is imported from neighbouring states such as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran. Many places, especially during the winter, have experienced power outages. This has hugely hindered the local economy and farmers are finding it difficult to cultivate their crops with water because of a lack of electricity.
UNHCR say that the people of Afghanistan have lived with conflict for more than four decades and that renewed violence and instability, alongside severe drought and economic crisis, have created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. There are currently 2.9 million refugees and asylum-seekers from Afghanistan, in addition to the 3.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Afghanistan.
The Taliban first came to power in Afghanistan in the 1990s but were toppled after the 2001 invasion by an international coalition led by the US. However, the Taliban always maintained a shadow government and returned to power when US and NATO troops withdrew in 2021. Human Rights Watch say that since taking power in August 2021, Taliban authorities have broadly imposed rules and policies that deny women and girls their basic rights and crush peaceful dissent. Read its World Report 2023.