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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.

Go deeper

What the initial UN Climate Summit attendance list reveals

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The UN Climate Summit set to begin Oct. 31 in Glasgow will bring an unprecedented combination of leaders for such an event (even Pope Francis!), and the likely absence of vital players — notably Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

Why it matters: The speeches and backroom meetings at COP26 between leaders on the summit's first two days will set the tone for the rest of the gathering. These will be moments when countries showcase any new pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the Paris Agreement's targets.

Flying Afghan evacuees through donated miles

Handout image of evacuees from Kabul in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. (Photo: Marc Tessensohn/Bundeswehr via Getty Images)

Two aid groups have set out to provide free flights for every evacuee from Afghanistan to travel to their safe homes.

Why it matters: Welcome.US and Miles4Migrants launched what they call the “Billion Mile Challenge” on Tuesday; the goal is to provide roughly 70,000 domestic flights from U.S. military bases through donated miles, credit card points and cash. Refugees typically must fund their own travel, according to Mile4Migrants co-founder Andy Freedman.

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.