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A family in Herat, Afghanistan, on Jan. 11. Photo: Bilal Guler/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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.

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.

Go deeper: No disciplinary action for Kabul airstrike that killed 10 civilians

Go deeper

Biden admin threatens to take back Arizona's COVID aid over anti-mask rules

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden administration warned Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) that it will take back the state's COVID-19 relief aid if it does not redesign programs that use the funding to discourage schools from mandating masks.

Driving the news: The state has two programs that are directed to schools and students. However, these programs take funding away from jurisdictions that have imposed mask requirements in schools, AP reports.

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.

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