Taliban refugee minister Haqqani told Al Jazeera that urgent actions were needed to help displaced Afghans before winter.
Kabul, Afghanistan – A Taliban leader called for action and help from the international community, including donor agencies, to help displaced Afghans ahead of the coming winter.
In recent days, aid groups have warned Afghanistan faces an “imminent humanitarian crisis” if aid and resources are not delivered to the country.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, the Taliban Minister for Refugees, Khalil-ur-Rahman Haqqani, said that although thousands of people were internally displaced, there was “now peace in Afghanistan and all people could go home ”.
“An estimated 20,000 people are in Kabul from the Panjshir Valley,” Haqqani told Al Jazeera.
“The priority will be Kabul because it is the most populous city and is home to the largest number of refugees. “
Haqqani added that people will receive assistance to return and to “rebuild their homes” if they have been damaged.
But any interaction with Haqqani is likely to be tricky because the US government has designated him a “global terrorist”. The United States placed a bounty of $ 5 million and it was also sanctioned by the UN, including for association with al-Qaeda.
The group says the sanctions should have been lifted following the deal the United States signed in Qatar last year.
He said the next phase of the plan was to create “special towns in each province” from which people were displaced and design them to have “facilities as well as jobs in development, services, construction and agriculture for the local community “. .
“The reason is to make sure that there is a one-stop-shop solution for those who want to help, to centralize the needs of the whole country, to reduce waste, to eliminate corruption and to ensure that all the help is reaching those who deserve it the most, ”he added.
Short of money
Haqqani admitted that there was a “cash flow problem, but God willing, we will slowly overcome this problem as well.”
“The most important thing is that peace in Afghanistan does not justify any refugees or displaced persons,” he added.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Friday called on countries to engage with the Taliban or risk a “humanitarian crisis”.
Speaking in Islamabad, the capital of neighboring Pakistan, Grandi said the international community should not only provide aid to the poverty-stricken nation, but also accept Afghan refugees.
Pakistan’s national security adviser Moeed Yusuf on Wednesday also called on the international community to “engage” with the Taliban or risk a return to instability in Afghanistan.
Before the Taliban takeover, a third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) came from foreign funding.
The Taliban took control of Kabul last month after quickly capturing more than a dozen provincial capitals in less than two weeks.
After the fall of Kabul, the United States and other countries, including NATO allies, evacuated thousands eligible Afghan citizens and nationals.
No government has yet recognized the Taliban’s interim government.