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Daily Evacuation Brief | January 21, 2022
Daily news about Afghanistan and the surrounding region, powered by Operation Snow Leopard
Welcome to the Daily Evacuation Brief. For more in-depth intelligence analysis and crisis research, please subscribe to our members-only journal, which comes out twice a week: Whispers & Anatomy of a Crisis.
LAST 24 HOURS:
· The economic summit in Kabul ended with a few individual states remaining after the full conference to discuss details. The summit saw the participation of sixty countries and eight international organizations. Calls to finish projects that were pledged prior to the Taliban takeover were made and additional calls to remove imposed sanctions and restrictions on Afghanistan’s foreign assets were made.
· Several women activists were arrested in Kabul after they were reported to have taken part in a demonstration against strict Islamic dress codes for women on Sunday. Their fate is currently unknown.
· Several medium scale aid programs were announced by multiple organizations to ramp up an international humanitarian aid push.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
· The US is expected to announce its stance on potentially relaxing restrictions on Afghan state funds held in the country.
· More arrests are expected of women who took part in the protest in Kabul against the Taliban imposition of strict dress codes for women.
· Delegations from the participants of the economic summit are expected to depart.
· Concerns over the fragile state of the economy continue to outweigh security concerns as the nascent regime scrambles to stave off financial ruin. As expected, China played an outsized role in the summit with many of the Taliban officials emphasizing economic cooperation as a key factor to stabilizing the economy. Sources indicate the Chinese delegation arrived early and held private talks with Shirbaz Kaminzada, acting head of Industry and Mines. Sources indicated ‘facilitation fees’ were discussed and the promise of a delivery of a fleet of vehicles for the office was made. It is notable the currency did not budge based on the announced proposals for future economic investment.
· Sources confirmed that local unit commanders were warned against taking any unnecessary security related activity while the foreign delegations attended the summit. Only direct threats from ISIS and/or grave transgressions of Sharia Law were to be undertaken. Foreign journalists covering the event were not to be impeded or threatened. Failure to follow these instructions would be dealt with harshly. As the delegations depart, security forces are expected to relaunch operations targeting dissidents. At-risk Afghans should be cognizant of increased patrolling and checkpoint activity in and around Kabul.
· An international organization employee who wished to remain anonymous and who attended the summit pointed out that support for the regime was not fully decided among the attendees. The anonymous source repeatedly made the point that pledges are often made in these circumstances, but the large-scale projects discussed would take months or years to implement and no large-scale investments would be made until a clearer picture developed in the country. The source also stated that none of the delegations had the authority to make an agreement and they would all be returning to their home countries to discuss the provisions outlined in the summit. Sources indicated that most attendees did not believe the security outlook for the regime was favorable and were quietly adopting a ‘wait and see’ posture.
· It is unlikely the US stance on the frozen Afghan assets will change significantly in the near term.
Afghani to the Dollar: .0095 – 1 (as of 21 JAN 2022)
Security Forces to Receive Newly Designed Standard Uniform | TOLO News | By Farshad Daryush
Some military veterans suggested that the new uniform for the security forces would help increase security in the country…
The Islamic Emirate said it reached agreements with relevant stakeholders in four areas during Wednesday's economic summit hosted by Kabul…
Taliban storm Kabul apartment, arrest women’s rights activist amid crackdowns | WA Today | By Kathy Gannon
Kabul: The Taliban has stormed an apartment in Kabul, smashing the door in and arresting a women’s rights activist and her three sisters, an eyewitness said on Thursday…
Big Heart’s ‘A Warm Winter’ drive helps needy Afghan families | Gulf Today | Staff Reporter
The Sharjah-based global humanitarian organization, The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), has made a call to corporate entities and individuals to donate to its ‘A Warm Winter’ drive, which runs until February 19, 2022, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and has been designed to ensure that displaced families in Afghanistan survive the harsh winter conditions as temperatures plunge below freezing…
Kazakhstan Protests Involve Russians, Adding to Moscow’s Worries About Stability | Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 19 Issue: 3 | By Paul Goble
Moscow was alarmed by the protests in Kazakhstan earlier this month primarily because they represented an attack of the population against the regime, something President Vladimir Putin has always sought to block lest it inspire people in the Russian Federation…
International News Relating to Afghanistan
UNDP and the European Union launch US $16.9 million programme to support women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan | The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Kabul - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the European Union (EU) launched a US $16.9 million livelihoods recovery initiative today, to safeguard women’s livelihoods and women-led small businesses. Its objective is to prevent the collapse of the local economy and systems supporting basic human needs in Afghanistan…
Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans | The Hill | By Laura Kelly
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling on the Biden administration to address significant barriers that are blocking tens of thousands of at-risk Afghans from finding haven in the U.S…
As people in Afghanistan turn to BUSD, how far is crypto adoption coming along | AMBCRYPTO | By Sahana Venugopal
U.S sanctions against Afghanistan have exacerbated starvation, poverty, and made life even more perilous for the millions living under Taliban occupation. However, people both within and outside the country have been experimenting with crypto options to overcome legal and financial barriers…
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