WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The United States on Tuesday announced $308 million in additional humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, offering new aid to the country as it approaches a humanitarian crisis since its takeover by the Taliban. About five months ago.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horn said in a statement that the new aid from the US Agency for International Development will flow through independent humanitarian organizations and will be used to provide shelter, health care, winter aid, emergency food aid, water, sanitation and sanitation services.
The country’s long troubled economy It has been in trouble since the Taliban came to power. About 80% of the budget of the previous government of Afghanistan came from the international community. That money, now cut, financed hospitals, schools, factories and government ministries. desperate for such basic needs further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic As well as lack of health care, drought and malnutrition.
The International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid organisation, said community health workers had observed a sharp increase in the number of children with severe acute malnutrition in Khost and Herat provinces. The group also reported that food prices in Afghanistan have increased by an estimated 10% to 20% over the past five years.
“The reason for today’s humanitarian disaster is clear: the economic tournament that applies to Afghanistan,” said IRC President and CEO, David Miliband.
“The time for a change in approach has passed.
USAID called on the Taliban to “allow all aid workers, especially women … to work freely and safely” as humanitarian groups seek to help those suffering.
“The United States continues to urge the Taliban to allow continued humanitarian access, safe conditions for humanitarian people, free provision of aid to all vulnerable people, and freedom of movement for aid workers of all genders,” the agency said in a statement. Is.”
Separately, the United Nations 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan for Afghanistan, unveiled on Tuesday, found the country needed $4.4 billion in fundingThe greatest humanitarian appeal ever to a country.
Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said: “Events in Afghanistan have occurred at a rapid pace over the past year and have had dire consequences for the Afghan people.” “The world is shocked and looking for the right way to react. Meanwhile, an all-out humanitarian catastrophe ensues. ,
New Biden administration commitment brings US humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to more than $780 million since the chaotic end of a 20-year war in August. UN says 22% of Afghanistan’s 38 million people are living near famine And another 36% are facing acute food insecurity.
In addition, the White House promised that it would launch the COVAX . Will send 1 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to Afghanistan via, an initiative by the World Health Organization to improve access to vaccines. With the new influx of doses, the US would have sent 4.3 million doses to Afghanistan, which has struggled to cope with the unrelenting pandemic.
International funding to Afghanistan was suspended after the Taliban took control of the country in mid-August and the country’s billions of dollars of assets abroad, mostly in the United States, were frozen.
US and international community’s decision not to recognize Taliban government, which ruled from 1996 to 2001 with a strict interpretation of Islamic law, has raised a question mark for Western powers about providing substantial aid to the Taliban without giving them legitimacy. They hope that by giving money directly to independent aid organizations, they will be able to keep it out of the hands of the Taliban.
The lack of funds has exacerbated poverty, and aid groups have warned of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe. State employees, from doctors to teachers and administrative civil servants, have not been paid for months. Meanwhile, banks have restricted how much money account holders can withdraw.
Taliban calls on international community to release funds And help avoid humanitarian disaster.
Sen. Chris Murphy, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counter-Terrorism, said it was in the interest of the US and allies to ease the suffering of Afghans.
Murphy, D-Conn, said, “The United States has a moral obligation to ensure that national security is imperative to prevent avoidable suffering and to avoid a humanitarian disaster.”