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29 November 2021

“We’re going to see death on a large scale”: Afghanistan under the Taliban this winter, with John Simpson

Afghanistan faces a humanitarian disaster, and the West must take some of the blame.

By Phil Clarke Hill and Alix Kroeger

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson speaks on how life under the Taliban in Afghanistan compares with the last time the regime was in power, before 2001; where the country is getting aid from; and how the rest of the world should engage with Afghanistan.

Since Kabul fell to the Taliban in August, the changes in Afghanistan have been dramatic. The US and other foreign military forces withdrew. International donors froze transfers of aid. As a result, many people’s salaries are going unpaid, with repercussions throughout the economy. Although girls are allowed to attend primary school after the age of about 12, they must stay home. Female university students are not allowed to pursue their education. Meanwhile, much of the country is in drought, putting further pressure on food supplies after a poor harvest.

John Simpson joins the New Statesman’s international managing editor Alix Kroeger to discuss his recent visit to Afghanistan, three months after the Taliban took control of the country. They discuss the threat of starvation, the protests over issues such as women’s education as well as the role of China and other countries.

[See also: Afghanistan is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – and the West is culpable]

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