Proposed funds would help the Taliban's ability to protect some 3,500 UN personnel in Kabul and 10 field offices, a UN document says.
The United Nations has proposed to pay nearly $6 million for protection in Afghanistan to Taliban-run Interior Ministry personnel, whose chief is under UN and US sanctions and wanted by the FBI, according to a UN document and a source familiar with the matter.
The proposed funds would be paid next year mostly to subsidise the monthly wages of Taliban soldiers guarding UN facilities and to provide them a monthly food allowance under an expansion of an accord with the former US-backed Afghan government, the document reviewed by Reuters news agency showed.
"The United Nations has a duty as an employer to reinforce and, where necessary, supplement the capacity of host states in circumstances where UN personnel work in areas of insecurity," deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq wrote on Tuesday in an email in response to Reuters' questions about the proposed payments.
He did not dispute the contents of the document.
The plan underscores the persisting insecurity in Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover in August as the last US troops left, as well as a dire shortage of funds hampering the new government because of a cutoff of international financial aid and freezing of foreign reserves.
Food shortages and economic collapse
The proposed funds would bolster the cash-strapped Taliban's ability to protect some 3,500 UN personnel in Kabul and 10 field offices.
Many nations are striving to help the country of 39 million cope with food shortages amid a public services breakdown and an economic collapse accelerated by the US freezing of some $9 billion of Afghan bank reserves.
The UN document said most of a proposed $4 million security budget for 2022 shared by the 20 UN agencies operating in Afghanistan "constitutes payments in respect of supplementing host nation resources for their primary responsibility to protect UN personnel."
UNAMA would spend an additional nearly $2 million "for similar services" outside the security budget shared with other UN agencies, the document added.