Politics

United States announces $308 million in aid for Afghans as crisis grows

The White House announced on Tuesday that another $308 million will be sent in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

The new aid given to the country comes as it approaches closer and closer to a humanitarian crisis since the Taliban took over nearly five months ago. 

White House spokesperson Emily Horne made the statement on Tuesday that the additional aid would be sent from the U.S. Agency for International Development and would flow through several independent humanitarian organizations.

She noted the funding would be used to provide more residents of the country with shelter, health care, winterization assistance, emergency first aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

The new aid brings U.S. humanitarian assistance for the country to more than $780 million since the disastrous ending of the 20-year war in August. Afghanistan’s already unstable economy fell into a further tailspin since the Taliban took essentially complete control last year.

Nearly 80 percent of Afghanistan’s prior government’s budget had come from the international community, but the terrorist organization cut off the funding that once financed hospitals, schools, factories, and government ministries.

Lack of access to basic necessities has also been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to health care shortages, drought, and malnutrition. The United Nations has said that 22 percent of the 38 million people residing in Afghanistan are living near famine and another 36 percent are facing acute food insecurity. 

In the midst of the crisis as humanitarian groups attempt to help those suffering, the USAID called on the Taliban to allow “all aid workers, especially women … to operate independently and securely.”

The agency continued in a statement, “The United States continues to urge the Taliban to allow unhindered humanitarian access, safe conditions for humanitarians, independent provision of assistance to all vulnerable people, and freedom of movement for aid workers of all genders.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS

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