Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Bid administration to channel more funding to humanitarian groups as millions of Afghans experience extreme hunger.

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

The aid will be channeled through the U.S. International Development Agency (USAID) to humanitarian organizations that provide shelter, health care and emergency food assistance, among others, White House spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement Tuesday.

In addition, the US will provide another one million coronavirus vaccine doses through the World Health Organization’s vaccine cooperative, COVAX, which brings its total contribution to Afghanistan to 4.3 million doses.

The move comes as the United Nations humanitarian agency said on Tuesday needs almost $ 5 billion in aid for Afghanistan in 2022. That includes $ 4.4bn for assistance within Afghanistan, and $ 623m to support the millions of Afghans hiding outside the country’s borders.

A nurse checks the weight of a child in a temporary clinic organized by World Vision at 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, the UN said, while a further 5.7 million displaced Afghans in five neighboring countries needed essential relief this year.

“A full-scale humanitarian disaster threatens. My message is urgent: do not close the door on the people of Afghanistan, “said Martin Griffiths, UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

An economic crisis escalated in Afghanistan after the Taliban take power in August, when the former Western-backed government collapsed and US troops withdrew. International funding for Afghanistan suspended and billions of dollars from the country’s Financial assets abroad, mostly in the US, frozen.

In the White House statement on Tuesday, Horne said the US “is committed to supporting the Afghan people and we continue to consider all options available to us”. She added: “We stand with the people of Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, USAID called on the Taliban to “allow all aid workers, especially women … to function independently and safely”, as humanitarian groups try to assist those who are suffering.

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

The decision by the US and the international community not to recognize the Taliban government has created a dilemma for Western powers over how to provide enough aid without giving the group legitimacy or putting money directly into its hands.

The Taliban has called on the international community to release funds and help avert a humanitarian disaster.

Civil servants, from doctors to teachers and administrative civil servants, were not paid in months, while banks limited how much money account holders could withdraw.

Last month, US officials and U.S. officials doing permissible business with the Taliban formally released US sanctions to try to maintain the flow of aid in Afghanistan.

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