“We have millions of people who are at the verge of famine and hunger,” said Sultanzoy. “Millions of people are at [the] poverty line.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund alerted that 1 million Afghan children are at risk of starvation this year. The World Health Organization warned that the country’s health-care system is “on the brink of collapse” as a lack of funding left thousands of health facilities struggling to buy medical supplies and pay their staff.
Sultanzoy took over as mayor of Kabul last year, before the Taliban regained power. He remained in Kabul, while other high-ranking politicians fled the country as the capital was being overtaken by Taliban fighters.
Sultanzoy told host Shepard Smith that Afghans are left to question what the past 20 years really accomplished for the country.
“Why all these years, 20 years of fighting, 20 years of casualties, and all of a sudden, we are where we were 20 years ago?” said Sultanzoy.
The U.S. began its war in Afghanistan in October 2001, weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11. Since then, about 2,500 U.S. service members died in the conflict, which also claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Afghan troops, police personnel and civilians.
The mayor continued and told Smith that Afghans “don’t have the luxury to be mad” or to assign blame for the current state of the country.
“Afghans are struggling with many unknowns right now,” said Sultanzoy. “We don’t know what is going to happen to the economy, to daily affairs of people, to the liberties to education of girls and women, many unknowns and many anxieties that are very legitimate.”