The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Hunger and Freezing in Afghanistan

Mar 6, 2023

Many people in Afghanistan are facing the dangers of both freezing cold and starvation, made worse by an unusually harsh winter there this year. Afghan officials estimate 200 people and 225,000 head of livestock have died as a result of the cold. The United Nations says that 28 million Afghans, two-thirds of the country’s population, are in need of humanitarian aid, with 20 million facing life-threatening levels of food insecurity and 6 million close to famine.

Already one of the poorest countries in the world, the economic situation in Afghanistan has been made worse by economic sanctions imposed on it under the pretext of opposing human rights violations by the Taliban-run government. When the U.S. was forced to end its military intervention in Afghanistan in 2021, for example, it froze 7 billion dollars in assets of Afghanistan’s Central Bank being held in U.S. banks.

Now, in the midst of the dangers of starvation and freezing conditions, many international humanitarian aid organizations and their donors have reduced the amount of funds going to Afghanistan, supposedly in protest of the Afghan government’s policies toward women. The situation is indeed made worse because the Taliban-run government has prohibited women from working for many international non-governmental organizations.

This situation is the product of the war carried out by the U.S. and its allies for over 20 years, supposedly to stop the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. In reality, it was a war aimed at U.S. military control over the region and for access to Afghanistan’s raw materials, a war on which the U.S. spent 2.3 trillion dollars, and which resulted in an estimated 900,000 deaths on all sides.

The war carried out in the interests of U.S. imperialism with its destruction of life and infrastructure made the situation in Afghanistan unlivable. Now foreign sanctions and cuts in humanitarian aid threaten to make the conditions of starvation and freezing even worse; the main victims being women and children.

Those who see the result of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan can clearly find reason to speak out against the continuing U.S. proxy war in Ukraine: to oppose interventions of U.S. capitalism across the world.