U.S. sends additional $308 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan humanitarian crisis news

As millions of Afghans face extreme starvation, the Biden administration will provide more money to humanitarian organizations.

The White House announced that the United States will donate an additional $308 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, bringing total U.S. aid to Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $782 million since October.

White House spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement Tuesday that the aid will be provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to humanitarian organizations that provide services such as shelters, health care and emergency food assistance. .

In addition, the United States will provide an additional 1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine through COVAX, the WHO vaccine cooperative, bringing its total contribution to Afghanistan to 4.3 million doses.

The move comes as the UN humanitarian agency said on Tuesday Nearly $5 billion in aid needed Aid to Afghanistan in 2022. This includes $4.4 billion in aid inside Afghanistan and $623 million to support millions of Afghans who have taken refuge outside the country.

A nurse checks a child's weight at a makeshift clinic organized by World Vision in a settlement near Herat, Afghanistan.Five months after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, millions of women and children are struggling to survive the winter [Mstyslav Chernov/AP Photo]

More than half of the population, some 22 million people, face acute hunger, while 5.7 million displaced Afghans in five neighbouring countries will need major relief this year, the United Nations said.

“A full-scale humanitarian disaster is imminent. My message is urgent: don’t close the door on the Afghan people,” said Martin Griffiths, the UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Economic crisis accelerated after Afghanistan crisis Taliban seize power In August, the former Western-backed government collapsed, U.S. troops withdraw. International funding to Afghanistan suspended, country’s billions of dollars monetary assets Abroad, mainly in the United States, it is frozen.

Horn said in a White House statement on Tuesday that the United States is “committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan, and we will continue to consider all options available.” “We stand with the Afghan people,” she added.

Meanwhile, USAID called on the Taliban to allow “all aid workers, especially women…to work independently and safely” as humanitarian organizations look to help those in distress.

“The United States continues to urge the Taliban to allow unimpeded humanitarian access, provide safe conditions for humanitarian personnel, provide independent assistance to all vulnerable groups, and provide access to aid workers of all genders,” the agency said in a statement. free.”

The decision by the United States and the international community not to recognize the Taliban government has left Western powers in a dilemma about how to provide adequate aid without giving the group legitimacy or putting money directly into its hands.

The Taliban have called on the international community to release funds to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

State employees, from doctors to teachers and administrative civil servants, have not been paid for months, and banks have limited the amount account holders can withdraw.

Last month, the U.S. formally exempted U.S. and U.N. officials doing business with the Taliban in an attempt to maintain the flow of aid to Afghanistan.