After decades of war and tens of thousands of deaths, many fear that this year will prove to be deadlier for Afghanistan as the country grapples with its worst food crisis since records started.
When the Taliban took over on August 15, Western humanitarian organisations withdrew their aid, pushing Afghanistan to the brink of economic collapse and countrywide famine.
The United States also froze nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank and halted shipments of cash to the nation, causing the financial system to collapse within months.
Taliban leaders have promised peace, order, and amnesty in Afghanistan while assuring that women and girls will be given certain rights. They have urged the international community to release funds.
Here are the five main issues gripping Afghanistan 100 days after the Taliban takeover.
Health care collapse: Thousands of medical staff have not been paid in six months and hospitals and clinics have no medicine or equipment to treat patients after the country is starved of foreign assistance.
According to the World Health Organization in September, 17 percent of the over 2,300 health facilities previously supported by the World Bank, are fully functional, two-thirds of which have run out of essential medicines.
Many don’t even know that coronavirus exists. The WHO in Afghanistan said last month that the COVID-19 testing and immunisation had decreased in the war-torn country since August.
Security situation: The armed group Daesh-K has launched an insurgency with some of the most high-level attacks in the country. The group has mounted a series of suicide bomb attacks, including at the Kabul airport and at two Shia mosques, which have killed hundreds of people.
According to Afghan local news network TOLO News, seven big security incidents have occurred in the country that caused 630 deaths and injuries. Analysts say the armed group is trying to prevent the Taliban from consolidating its grip on the country.
Taliban international recognition: The so-called Islamic Emirate has been seeking international recognition for the new government, led by Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, the group’s supreme leader since their takeover.
In September, the United Nations turned down the Taliban’s request to have its envoy Suhail Shaheen address the General Assembly.
As per #WorldFoodProgram, about 23 million Afghans are going to be acutely short of food this winter. Media outlets are reporting that #women are selling their children to get household commodities. There is a dire need for immediate humanitarian assistance in #Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/Tiw9cvdsHa— Shad Begum (@ShadBegum) November 24, 2021
This recognition is crucial for the country as it continues to grapple with economic collapse and humanitarian crisis. Analysts say global legitimacy is the only point of leverage that the international community has over the Taliban’s way of governing the country.
Schools and universities: When the Taliban took over, schools were shut for both boys and girls. In September, the Taliban allowed boys to go to school from classes 6-12 and male teachers to teach.
However, girls were not allowed to go to schools as the Taliban said a “safe environment” needs to be established before they could return, drawing sharp criticism from the international community for restricting education for girls.
Last week, the Taliban-ruled government said that 75 percent of girls have resumed schools across the country.
Media shut-down: A total of 257 media outlets have been shut, including print, radio and television stations, according to a media advocacy group in Afghanistan.
Over 70 percent of Afghan media workers have now become jobless or left the country after Kabul fell to the Taliban. The so-called Islamic Emirate's recent lists of principles for media operation that includes forbidding all dramas, soap operas and entertainment shows featuring women have raised concerns.
The directives also include that women news presenters must wear headscarves on screen. Afghan journalists and rights activists have condemned “religious guidelines”.