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The Taliban has declared an ‘interim government’ in Afghanistan, having taken power on 15 August 2021 after the fall of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This occurred after a military advance through provinces in Afghanistan in 2021, and despite signing of the Doha Agreement between the US and the Taliban in February 2020.

Afghanistan continues to face substantial humanitarian and economic challenges, compounded by natural disasters, such as the June 2022 earthquake. Australia is committed to supporting the Afghan people in these difficult times, including through our humanitarian program and advocacy on important issues such as human rights.

Australian officials engage with the Taliban regime in multilateral and group meetings to reinforce our expectations. Our engagement does not confer legitimacy on the Taliban. Australia, with the international community, will hold the Taliban to account for its actions, commitments, and applicable international obligations. This includes the safe passage of those seeking to depart Afghanistan, action to counter terrorism, the delivery of humanitarian assistance in accordance with international principles, and the upholding of human rights, including the rights of women and girls to education, civic and economic life.

Joint press release on the anniversary of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban

Economic and trade information

Political situation

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan following the collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces and the fall of Kabul on 15 August 2021.

Economic situation

The recent developments in Afghanistan have pushed the country into an economic crisis. Contributing factors include economic mismanagement under the Taliban, the marginalisation of women, the brain drain of highly qualified people after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, a reduction in international assistance, loss of access to assets abroad, inflation and price rises of essential goods, unemployment and income loss, currency depreciation, and severe drought conditions adversely affecting agricultural production. Australia’s humanitarian assistance program seeks to alleviate the impacts of the economic crisis on the people of Afghanistan.

In the absence of credible official data, the World Bank provides an assessment of the economic situation in Afghanistan.

Australia’s engagement with Afghanistan

Following the events of August 2021, the Australian Government established an Interim Mission on Afghanistan (IMA) in Doha, Qatar. The IMA manages Australia’s interests in Afghanistan and works with international partners, many of which have established missions on Afghanistan in Qatar, to influence the Taliban.

Australia supports:

  • safe passage from Afghanistan for Australian citizens and those eligible to travel to Australia
  • reinforcing regional stability, including through humanitarian support
  • influencing the Taliban to respect human rights, particularly for women and girls, and minorities, and to observe humanitarian principles
  • encouraging formation of an inclusive political process in Afghanistan, and
  • deterring any transnational terrorism resurgence and maintaining our counter terrorist financing efforts, including by working with the Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism and the Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking.

Australia’s longstanding policy is to recognise States, not governments. The Australian Government does not extend or withhold formal recognition to new regimes. Australia will continue to judge the Taliban regime by its actions.

Australia’s Special Representative on Afghanistan

Australia’s Special Representative on Afghanistan (SRA), Glenn Miles, leads Australia’s engagement on Afghanistan with the IMA, Australian Government agencies and international partners to protect Australia’s interests and assist the Afghan people. Mr Glenn Miles is a senior career officer at DFAT with extensive experience in the Middle East and Pacific, most recently serving as Australia’s Ambassador to Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea.

Departures from Afghanistan

While our ability to provide assistance in Afghanistan is severely limited at present, the Australian Government continues to provide support to Australian citizens, permanent residents and those eligible to travel who are seeking to leave Afghanistan.

The Australian Government has made available a total of 31,500 places for Afghan people under its migration program. This comprises 26,500 places under the Humanitarian Program and at least 5,000 places under the Family stream of the Migration Program.

Afghan nationals who wish to apply for a visa to Australia should refer to the Afghanistan page of the Department of Home Affairs website.

Humanitarian assistance and development cooperation

The Australian Government is committed to working with partners to support the Afghan people. Since 2001, Australia has provided over $1.6 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. In doing so, we helped support meaningful gains in the lives of Afghans, including in the form of dramatic improvements in women’s education, health and participation, and in preventing violence against women.

Since September 2021, Australia has committed $141 million in humanitarian assistance to respond to the Afghanistan crisis from 2021 to 2024, with a focus on supporting women and girls. Our assistance includes support for the provision of food, shelter, nutrition, sexual reproductive health services, essential health and education services, psychosocial counselling, and supporting the protection and empowerment of women and girls. Australia’s support contributes to the UN’s Humanitarian Response Plan for Afghanistan.

Australia is working largely through UN agencies in Afghanistan – including the World Food Programme, the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (managed by the Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs), the United Nations Population Fund, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – to deliver humanitarian assistance, while also ensuring compliance with relevant sanctions obligations.

Australia's humanitarian assistance and other programs are implemented in accordance with UNSC sanctions and do not benefit the Taliban directly.

Australia also provided humanitarian assistance to support people in Afghanistan impacted by the devastating earthquake of 22 June 2022. Our support provided emergency assistance including shelter, food, and medical support, through partners already operating in the area, including five Mobile Health Teams, involving female providers who provided reproductive health, antenatal and postnatal care and psychosocial support to women and girls.

Human Rights

Australia continues to add its voice to international calls to the Taliban regime to uphold, respect and protect all human rights in Afghanistan. Australia will continue to highlight the human rights abuses in Afghanistan, including through statements to the Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly. Australia will not turn our back on the Afghan people.

The Australian Government is particularly concerned about the deteriorating situation for women and girls. In particular, the directive to prohibit girls attending secondary school, the ban on women attending university, their non-inclusion in government and civil society, the ban on women working in NGOs, increased early and forced marriages, prescribed dress and the prohibition of women leaving their homes without a male guardian. Equal access to health, education, employment, and other services must be ensured, including in internationally funded programs.

Australia strongly condemns the intimidation and violence towards journalists and media workers. Journalists must be free to report in full safety, without fear of violence, reprisals or intimidation. We urge all actors in Afghanistan to protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including for members of the media, and to uphold international humanitarian principles and Afghanistan’s international human rights obligations. Those who have committed acts of violence and intimidation against journalists and media workers must be held accountable.

Australia is extremely concerned by the disproportionate and widespread targeting of ethnic and religious minorities. The senseless attacks on places of worship, schools and public spaces are abhorrent and those responsible must be held accountable and bought to justice.


As a member of the UN, Australia fully implements the UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regime in relation to the Taliban. The sanctions regime includes restrictions on supplying arms and related matériel, providing services related to military activities, providing assets to designated persons or entities, dealing with the assets of designated persons or entities, and travel bans on designated persons.

In recognition of the humanitarian challenges facing Afghanistan, the UNSC agreed on 22 December (resolution 2615 (2021)) to exemptions for humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan, while encouraging providers to ‘…use reasonable efforts to minimize the accrual of any benefits, whether as a result of direct provision or diversion, to individuals or entities designated on the 1988 Sanctions List…’.

Further details regarding Australia’s implementation of the sanctions regime – including the humanitarian exemption – can be found at the Australian Sanctions Office.

The United States’ Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control has also issued a number of licence exemptions with regard to its own sanctions which may assist development partner’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Travel information

We continue to advise against travel to Afghanistan.

Afghan nationals who wish to apply for a visa to Australia should refer to the Afghanistan page of the Department of Home Affairs website.

Embassies and consulates


The Australian Government has established an Interim Mission on Afghanistan (IMA) operating at the Australian Embassy in Doha, Qatar. The IMA manages Australia’s interests in Afghanistan and helps to deepen our cooperation with key international partners, many of which have established missions on Afghanistan in Qatar. At present, Australia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Afghanistan. The IMA’s Twitter account is: @AusMissionAF.

Passport and consular services are not available through the IMA. Australians still in Afghanistan in need of consular assistance should contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305. Australians, permanent residents, and immediate family members who have made their way out of Afghanistan and require consular assistance should contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.

For all visa enquiries, see the Afghanistan page on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Afghanistan Embassy in Australia

Following the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan government some embassies continue to operate independently. The Australian Government is unable to comment on the functions of the Afghan Embassy in Australia.

Further information

Statements by the Foreign Minister

Other statements and releases

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