Germany halts development aid for Afghanistan


BERLIN: Germany has stopped development aid for Afghanistan for now, the minister responsible said on Tuesday, after the Taliban swept back into power.
“State cooperation on development is suspended for the time being,” Development Minister Gerd Mueller said in an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper.
“We are working at pace to evacuate from Afghanistan those local development officials and NGO workers who want to leave.”
The difficult situation on the ground has created obstacles for an evacuation mission being led by German forces in Kabul.
Officials admitted on Tuesday that a German military plane left Kabul carrying just seven evacuees while hundreds waited on the ground because allies responsible for security at the airport could not secure their access to the transport.
Germany was seeking to complete the evacuation of local staff “so far as possible” in the scope of the current evacuation mission, Mueller told the newspaper.
“We are also looking at other ways beyond that,” he added.
The German government had agreed to send 430 million euros ($506 million) to Afghanistan a year, making it one of the biggest donors to the country.
This money was intended to support the training of local police forces and strengthen the justice system, as well as furthering the rights of women and fighting corruption.
Speaking last week, German foreign minister Heiko Maas said the country was not “viable” without the support of international aid.
“We will not send another cent to this country if the Taliban take complete control, introduce Sharia law and turn it into a caliphate,” Maas said.


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