Oct 12, 2021 - World

European Commission pledges around $1 billion in Afghan aid

G20 extraordinary meeting on Afghanistan via video conference
G20 meeting on Afghanistan via video conference. Photo: Mustafa Kamaci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

During a G20 meeting on Afghanistan on Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a roughly $1 billion aid package to Afghanistan and neighboring countries taking in refugees.

Why it matters: The aid is intended to help avert a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan but does not indicate a legitimization of the Taliban, the European Commission underscored in the press release.

  • While the aid package is significant in its amount, it was not matched by similar pledges from other nations and is not enough to stave off the humanitarian crisis, notes the Washington Post.

State of play: This package will help with shelters and vaccinations as well as assisting neighboring countries with "migration management" and terrorism prevention, per the press release.

  • "[T]he Afghan people should not pay the price of the Taliban's actions. This is why the Afghan support package is for the Afghan people and the country´s neighbours who have been the first in providing them with help," Von der Leyen said in the press release.
  • Much of the funding will be delivered through the United Nations, though there will be some country-to-country support as well, Reuters reports.

The big picture: While the G20 summit on Afghanistan was also attended by President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, notable absentees included Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, per Reuters.

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