OTTAWA (Agencies): Canada has plans to unblock development aid to Afghanistan this year, a move that has been met with frustration due to the delay. By the time the new system is operational, the Taliban will have been in control of the country for approximately three years.

Humanitarian organizations have expressed concern over the delay, especially as other countries have moved more swiftly to unblock aid flows. Asma Faizi, head of the Afghan Women’s Organization, described the situation as “extremely frustrating.”

Faizi’s organization, which supports Afghan newcomers to Canada, women living in Afghanistan, and those in exile in nearby countries, has been blocked from receiving Canadian aid since the Taliban takeover. The organization also runs an all-girls orphanage in Kabul.

Under current law, aid workers could face criminal prosecution if they pay taxes on labor or goods to Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which Canada lists as a terrorist organization. However, the United States, Australia, the European Union, and the United Kingdom have all created exceptions to their terrorism laws to allow aid to flow.

Since the Taliban took full control, Afghanistan has faced a humanitarian crisis caused by natural disasters, widespread food insecurity, and economic collapse. The United Nations estimates that 23.7 million people in the country currently need humanitarian aid.

In response to the crisis, the Canadian Parliament passed a bill last June that enacted a blanket exemption to terrorism financing laws for humanitarian workers providing life-saving aid.

By Media

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