Canada to resume humanitarian aid to Afghanistan: Report

Canada plans to remove obstacles to sending humanitarian aid and will resume assistance to Afghanistan, Canadian media reported, quoting officials.

A committee comprising representatives from various parties in the Canadian Parliament has urged Ottawa to renew humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, Global News reported.

In June 2023, the Canadian Parliament passed legislation exempting humanitarian organizations from the country’s “Anti-Terrorism Law,” which previously halted aid deliveries following the Taliban’s return to power.

The new legislation, with amendments to the anti-terrorism law, will allow Canadian relief organizations to operate in regions under Taliban control, including groups designated as terrorists under the law.

Afghanistan faces a worsening humanitarian crisis due to natural disasters, widespread food insecurity, and economic collapse, largely shunned by the global community due to Taliban rule, Global News added.

“General exemptions for a few organizations are not enough,” Martin Fisher, policy director at World Vision Canada, was quoted as saying. He stressed that the Canadian government has yet to clarify what it considers humanitarian work.

Last week, Canada’s Public Safety Ministry reported ongoing efforts to operationalize the authorization process for sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, with plans to start this process by spring 2024 and achieve full operational capacity by late this year.

A spokesperson for the ministry told Global News that applications from relief organizations would be accepted in spring 2024, and efforts are currently focused on managing this process.

Meanwhile, the United Nations reports that over 23 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian aid, with UN agencies receiving just over six percent of the required budget.