Atmar Foresees Reduction in Int’l Community’s Aid to Afghanistan

Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the nominee for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an address to the parliament on Monday said there might be a reduction in the international community’s pledge to Afghanistan in the upcoming Geneva Conference as the world economy has been affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

“All international assistance, military and civilian, that was pledged to Afghanistan will end within the next two months, therefore, the Geneva conference needs to be held so that once again we have the international community’s assistance to the government and the people of Afghanistan,” Atmar told lawmakers. “There is a possibility that the international community shows its inability (to assist Afghanistan.”

He said the international community has shared 10 main conditions for the conference with the Afghan government and the Taliban. He said the government will review the conditions today.

“Considering the four mentioned problems, unfortunately, there the possibility that national, regional and international consensus will be damaged,” Atmar said, “All these problems and senior threats that are occurring have been added to our foreign policy assessment.”

He said the Taliban has not reduced the violence in the country while it has increased by the group.

“The only way to ensure peace in Afghanistan is maintaining the Islamic Republic system,” he said, assuring that the independence, national sovereignty, and national unity in the country “will not be compromised under any circumstances.”

Atmar said he suggests five main goals for his foreign policy.

“Our first goal in foreign policy is ending the war and ensuring a dignified and enduring peace in the country. This is the wish of the Afghan people, is the Afghan government’s policy and will be the first goal of the Afghan government.”

He reiterated that ensuring an enduring peace in Afghanistan is not only in favor of Afghans but also is in favor of the region and the international community because “terrorism is a threat to all of us.’

Atmar said countries in the region and the international community should support Afghanistan in fighting “terrorism.”

Afghanistan’s economic growth depends on regional countries’ cooperation, Atmar said, adding that countries in the region have noticed Afghanistan’s role in connectivity.

Poverty, Unemployment Still a Challenge for Afghans

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a report has assessed Afghanistan’s economic index and has described poverty and unemployment among major challenges for Afghans.

The country report titled “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Request for a 42-Month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility” has assessed Afghanistan’s overall economic landscape in the next four years and the impacts driving from the war, politics, and COVID-19.

According to the report, armed conflicts and fragility have hindered Afghanistan’s development. Growth has been weak, unemployment high, and Afghanistan remains dependent on aid, which finances its large underlying fiscal and current account deficits, the report says.

The report has predicted that Afghanistan’s economic growth rate will still undergo a -5 percent until the end of the current year and the country’s export volume will also decrease by 35 percent.

The report states that the COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan has also left significant impacts on the nation’s economic development and livelihoods.