COP26: Taliban urge international donors to support green projects in Afghanistan

Published October 31, 2021
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen leaves after a news conference in Moscow, Russia July 9, 2021. — Reuters
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen leaves after a news conference in Moscow, Russia July 9, 2021. — Reuters

Afghanistan's new Taliban regime urged international donors to resume full support for green projects in the country on Sunday, marking the start of the COP26 summit.

The movement seized power in Afghanistan in August after overthrowing the former US-backed regime, but has not yet been recognised by the international community.

As such, the new Islamic Emirate will not be represented in Glasgow when world leaders gather on Sunday to renew plans to tackle the global climate crisis.

Read more: Recognise the Taliban? World powers face Afghan dilemma

But senior Taliban leader Suhail Shaheen said that climate programmes in Afghanistan that had already been approved for UN support should continue.

“Afghanistan has a fragile climate. There is a need for tremendous work,” he said on Twitter.

“Some climate change projects which have already been approved and were funded by Green Climate Fund, UNDP, Afghan Aid, should fully resume work.”

Relief agencies have warned that a drought in Afghanistan, which UN scientists say has been worsened by climate change, could force 22 million into “acute food insecurity”.

Also read: More than half of Afghans face 'acute' food crisis: UN

But the work of international agencies has been disrupted by the change in regime, and international donors are reluctant to work with the group.

Shaheen stressed, however, that the Taliban would be able to ensure the security of teams working in the projects.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is committed to providing security and a safe environment for the work of NGOs and charity organisations,” he tweeted.

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