Collapse

Afghanistan will shortly collapse into chaos unless the international community acts rapidly, Swedish and Pakistani ministers warned on Saturday.

Afghans sell their personal belongings to raise money, citing unemployment, starvation and needing money to leave the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 20. © Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images Afghans sell their personal belongings to raise money, citing unemployment, starvation and needing money to leave the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 20.

Afghanistan plunged into crisis after the hardline Islamist Taliban movement drove out the Western-backed government in August triggering the abrupt end of billions of dollars in assistance to its aid-dependent economy.

"The country is on the brink of collapse and that collapse is coming faster than we thought," Swedish development minister Per Olsson Fridh told Reuters in Dubai.

He said economic freefall could provide an environment for terrorist groups to thrive, but that Sweden would not channel money through the Taliban, instead boosting its humanitarian contributions through Afghan civil society groups.

Many countries and multilateral institutions have halted development assistance but increased humanitarian aid since August, reluctant to legitimize the new Taliban rulers.


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