Tuesday, December 6, 2022

US to Provide $327m in Aid to Afghanistan: Blinken

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Arif Ahmadi
Arif Ahmadihttps://www.khaama.com/
Arif Ahmadi holds a B.A. degree in Journalism. He works as an Editor & Content Writer for Khaama Press.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters at the State Department in Washington, U.S., July 16, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/Pool

WASHINGTON, United States – The United States will provide an additional $327 million in aid to Afghanistan to shore up humanitarian assistance, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday, days after Biden administration moved to establish a foundation for managing $3.5 billion in frozen Afghan funds.

Last week, the US government announced the creation of a foundation based in Switzerland that will use the money help address the unfolding economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where more than half of the population are starving.

“This assistance from the United States will continue to support the scaled-up humanitarian response in Afghanistan and neighboring countries through international humanitarian organizations,” Blinken said in a statement.

International humanitarian organizations includes the United Nations Population Fund, International Organization for Migration, and other implementing partners in the region.

Meanwhile, Blinken said the US will continue to support Afghan people through various aids to respond to their basic and humanitarian needs.

“Our commitment to the people of Afghanistan is enduring,” he added. “We provide assistance to people in need, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, disability status, religion, or profession.”

The funding includes almost $119 million from the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, and nearly $208 million in assistance from the US Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the top diplomat said, as Tribune reported.

It will be used to provide cash aid, shelter, healthcare, and reintegration assistance for individuals either displaced internally in Afghanistan or those that fled the war-torn nation, according to the State Department.

Total US funding for Afghanistan now sits at $1.1 billion since the Taliban took over the country in August 2021.

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Earlier, the Biden administration moved to establish a foundation for managing $3.5 billion in frozen Afghan funds, according to sources, skirting Taliban in their efforts to having hands on what is known to be the last shot to stabilize country’s economy.   

With Several international partners, the US government announced the creation of a foundation based in Switzerland that will use the money help address the unfolding economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where more than half of the population are starving.

“Pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14064, President Biden set a policy of enabling $3.5 billion of Afghan central bank reserves to be used for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan while keeping them out of the hands of the Taliban and other malign actors,” said US Treasury department in statement.

“The Afghan Fund will protect, preserve, and make targeted disbursements of that $3.5 billion to help provide greater stability to the Afghan economy,” the statement further said.  

In February, President Biden signed an executive order to free $7 billion in Afghan assets now frozen in the US, splitting the money between humanitarian aid for poverty-stricken Afghanistan and a fund for families of 9/11 victims still seeking relief for the attacks that killed thousands. 

But the motion yet has to be approved.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The title is corrected from its initial “$327bn” to “$327m”.

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