In an exclusive interview with TOLOnews, USAID Deputy Administrator for Plans and Programming Isobel Coleman said that the current bans on women's activity will harm Afghanistan's economic future. She said the world has condemned it, not just Western countries.
“It is intense condemnation by everyone in the international community, not just Western countries, but Muslim majority countries around the world, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, to Indonesia. Even Iran and China issued a joint condemnation a few months ago on this rollback in women’s rights in Afghanistan. So, I think you see very broad-based international criticism and condemnation of this move. I can’t speculate on what the Taliban will do, they seem to have been quite committed to this path of economic self-destruction, frankly, and pain that they are inflicting on people,” she said.
Coleman outlined the ongoing American assistance to the people of Afghanistan, especially for women and girls.
The deputy head of the USAID further said that the USAID is trying to provide more aid to women in Afghanistan in accordance with international laws.
“We continue to do work in not just the humanitarian sector but also in health care, in education, in the WASH sector, in agriculture. We are continuing to work with farmers on helping them increase their productivity and improve their agribusinesses in many different parts of the country,” she said.
In the interview, Coleman criticized the lack of transparency in how the interim government in Afghanistan is spending the tax revenue it is collecting.
“We understand that the Taliban has been collecting taxes, but we have concerns about where the money is actually going and I think more transparency in how the Taliban is distributing funds would be very helpful because we have concerns that they are not investing as much as they can or should be in health care,” she said.
"The collected revenue is spent completely transparently and in accordance with the priorities of the people. The Islamic Emirate understands the nation's priorities better than anyone and it is obvious to them. We spend money in accordance with these priorities,” said Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance.
Previously, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), reported that the US is still the largest donor to Afghanistan.