Jul 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden announces up to $100M in aid for Afghan refugees

People walking near a market in Kabul on July 21.

People walking near a market in Kabul on July 21. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden announced Friday his administration is allocating up to $100 million in new aid for Afghan refugees and migrants.

Why it matters: Unrest and violence in Afghanistan have sharply increased since Biden announced military withdrawal from the country, which is now almost complete and has coincided with large territorial gains by the Taliban.

  • The U.S. intelligence community has warned that the Afghan government could collapse as soon as next year as the Taliban's battlefield offensive grows, though Biden has called those warnings "wrong."

The latest: Biden also spoke by phone on Friday with President Ashraf Ghani. The American president reiterated the United States' continuing humanitarian and diplomatic support for Ghani's government and the people of Afghanistan, particularly women, girls and minorities.

  • The conversation happened the same day that a Taliban spokesperson told AP in an interview that the insurgent group does not want to monopolize power in the country but will not negotiate a power-sharing government until Ghani is removed.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated on Friday that "the president and the administration supports the leadership of the Afghan people, including" Ghani.

What they're saying: The White House said the aid is meant to meet the "unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs, victims of conflict, and other persons at risk as a result of the situation in Afghanistan."

  • "Such assistance may be provided on a bilateral or multilateral basis as appropriate, including through contributions to international organizations and through funding to other nongovernmental organizations, governments, and United States departments and agencies," according to the memorandum.

The big picture: The Biden administration is in the process of evacuating thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. military throughout the war and are eligible to apply for special immigration visas.

  • Neighboring Tajikistan said Friday is it preparing to accept 100,000 refugees from Afghanistan, according to Reuters.
  • Biden designated Aug. 31 as the official date that the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan concludes.

Go deeper: Biden defends Afghanistan exit as fears of collapse grow

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