International aid organisations and experts say the US-led sanctions on the Taliban government are hurting the Afghan people, and called for “explicit humanitarian exemptions” for the delivery of aid to prevent a “catastrophe”. Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan on August 15, the aid-dependent country was cut off from international financial institutions, while nearly $10bn of its assets were frozen by the US, triggering a banking crisis. Millions of dollars in international aid were also halted due to the sanctions. The UN and other aid agencies have been trying to navigate the sanctions to deliver much-needed aid to the country, with more than half of Afghanistan’s 38 million population facing imminent food shortages in the harsh winter months. “The US government, and other sanctions imposing entities like the UN Security Council (UNSC), should do all they can to ensure that Afghans have access to the humanitarian assistance to which they are entitled,” said Eileen McCarthy, the Advocacy Manager at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).