U.S. sending over $308 million in aid to Afghanistan
The U.S. announced a new contribution of more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan on Tuesday, bringing the total U.S. aid for the country and Afghan refugees to nearly $782 million since October.
Why it matters: Millions of Afghans face a harsh winter and rapidly dwindling food and fuel reserves, and the Taliban, which reclaimed the country in August after the U.S. ended its military presence there, lack resources to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis, according to the Washington Post.
- The Biden administration announced in October that the U.S. will send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan while continuing to withhold formal recognition of the Taliban and freezing roughly $8 billion in Afghan foreign reserves.
What they're saying: National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said the new U.S. Agency for International Development funds will be allocated through independent humanitarian organizations in the country that will help provide shelter, health care services, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation and hygiene services.
- Included in the aid are a million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses through COVAX, bringing the total of American-donated doses to Afghanistan to 4.3 million.
The big picture: The Biden administration said in December that it would loosen restrictions to make it easier for humanitarian groups to provide aid to Afghanistan, Axios' Stef Kight reports.
- The Taliban, Afghan protesters, international aid groups and U.S. lawmakers have called for the U.S. to lift its freeze on Afghan foreign reserves, which has rendered the country's economy hardly functional.