Thought for the day

"The supreme trick of mass insanity is that it persuades you that the only abnormal person is the one who refuses to join in the madness of others, the one who tries vainly to resist. We will never understand totalitarianism if we do not understand that people rarely have the strength to be uncommon." -- Eugene Ionesco

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It’s been more than a year since the U.S. military’s chaotic withdrawal from Kabul, and the Defense Department actually has no clear idea how much U.S.-funded military equipment fell into the Taliban’s hands in Afghanistan, according to a new report from a top government watchdog.

The UNICEF in a report expressed concerns over the humanitarian, climate and economic challenges in Afghanistan, saying that 13.1 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country.

According to UNICEF: "24.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. 13.1 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. 1.1 million severely acutely malnourished children under the age of five years expected to need SAM treatment."

Fatima, 8, is an orphan, who is selling bread on a street in capital city of Kabul. Fatima is in the second grade but she sees no clear future for herself, as the schools beyond grade six remained closed for female students.

“The money which I earn, I give it to my mother. As much as I work, I give it to my mother to bring us food,” Fatima said.

Many children are engaged in work and are deprived of education due to poverty that is rising across the country of around 40 million population.

9 in 10 households cannot meet their food needs, with those headed by women particularly vulnerable, according to the latest WFP assessment.

The WFP said that due to unprecedented economic hardship and environmental disasters like earthquakes and flooding, the Afghans are less prepared than ever to weather another harsh winter.

 Afghan women were stopped from entering amusement parks in Kabul on Wednesday after the Taliban's morality ministry said there would be restrictions on women being able to access public parks.

A spokesperson for the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (MPVPV) confirmed that women would be restricted from accessing parks when asked for comment by Reuters, but did not respond to requests to provide further details.

The signing of a provisional deal between Russia and the Taliban in September 2022 marks the Taliban’s first known major international economic deal.

But beyond the announcement that Russia will supply gas, oil and wheat to Afghanistan, the payment and pricing details have not been released to the public. How the two countries will navigate international sanctions and their exclusion from the global banking system remains unclear.

The U.S. government has funneled more than $1.1 billion in taxpayer dollars into Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021 with minimal oversight or accountability according to the watchdog responsible for overseeing U.S.-led reconstruction efforts there.

The Central Bank said that the banking system in the country is getting back to normal levels, and urged citizens to remain supportive of the banking sector in the country.

Haseebullah Noori, press director of Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank), said that the banking sector is out of the crisis now. The Central Bank instructed citizens to open their bank accounts and said they can withdraw their money without any restrictions.