The UK and the west need to help Afghanistan now more than ever

Editorial: The situation across the country couldn’t be much worse. But there’s still no sign of any intent to solve this coming migration crisis

Tuesday 23 November 2021 21:30
<p>Women line up to receive cash at a money distribution point in Kabul </p>

Women line up to receive cash at a money distribution point in Kabul

The war in Afghanistan may be over, but the humanitarian crisis is about to get worse. The British Red Cross warns that a combination of factors is conspiring to make life in parts of the country unbearable. That is not only a tragedy for the Afghan people, but also for the surrounding countries, principally Pakistan and Iran, who will be faced with a further wave of Afghan refugees and migrants – and for western nations such as Britain, who will have to find ways to offer refugees safe passage to the UK and a path to resettlement and reunion for them and their families.

At the moment, there is little sign of any western or UK intent to solve this coming migration crisis “at source”, and nor is there any evidence that the British resettlement scheme, ironically named “Warm Welcome”, will be up and running before the worst of the weather arrives in the often inhospitable terrain of Afghanistan.

The situation in the country could scarcely be worse. At the risk of rehearsing old arguments, by the time the US-led forces finally retreated, Afghanistan was relatively stable, had an established government over much of the population – albeit with cases of corruption more prevalent than anyone would like – and the economy was recovering. It was far from hopeless. Within a few weeks of the evacuation and the Taliban takeover, all has changed for the worse.

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