(Ottawa) Major humanitarian groups are urging the Trudeau administration to ease restrictions on working with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Posted at 6:25am
The Canadian Red Cross, Oxfam Canada and Amnesty International are among 18 groups arguing that Ottawa has lagged behind its peers in finding loopholes for humanitarian aid while isolating the Taliban regime.
They argue that Canadian sanctions are blocking their response to a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan.
In August 2021, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
An estimated 23 million people face food shortages in the country ravaged by droughts, a collapse in health services and a collapsing economy.
Aid groups say the Criminal Code’s anti-terrorism rules prevent Canadian groups from moving their supplies from camps into the hands of people in need.
In June, a special House of Commons committee formed to investigate the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan said Ottawa needed to change those rules.
This committee found that the United States, Australia, Great Britain and the European Union had all found ways to bring aid into the country.
The Liberals have given no official response to the report, prompting aid groups to denounce what they call a “disheartening lack of urgency”.
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