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The Biden administration is sending more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, bringing the total amount of U.S. assistance to the Central Asia country and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $782 million since October.
The U.S. is also providing Afghanistan with one million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses through COVAX, bringing the total to 4.3 million doses distributed there, the White House announced.
National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne took to social media to boast: “We remain the single largest donor of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.”
Today the U.S. announced $308 million in new humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan and a million new COVID vaccine doses provided through #COVAX (totaling 4.3M doses). We remain the single largest donor of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.https://t.co/Ds7oMSNJaV
— Emily Horne (@emilyhorne46) January 11, 2022
In reference to the more than $80 billion in U.S. military equipment and arms left behind, a social media user chimed in:
And apparently the single largest donor of military equipment to the Taliban pic.twitter.com/ojLsij3zhS
— Charles R. Smith🔹 (@softwarnet) January 11, 2022
“The new humanitarian assistance by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will directly flow through independent humanitarian organizations and help provide lifesaving protection and shelter, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by COVID-19 and healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the winter season,” read a statement from the White House.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people and we continue to consider all options available to us. We stand with the people of Afghanistan,” the statement concluded.
Keep in mind, there are still hundreds of American citizens in Afghanistan, if not more, having been abandoned by President Biden during the disastrous withdrawal from the country last year.
In addition to the perils of Taliban rule and the ensuing economic collapse, Afghans are reportedly dealing with food and water shortages and a harsh winter, along with complications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Afghanistan’s previous government was largely financed by international aid, which accounted for 80% of its budget, according to the New York Post. And with that money now cut off — many countries refuse to recognize Taliban control — hospitals, schools, factories and government ministries face serious funding shortfalls.
“Families have faced starvation under the new government, with some even resorting to selling their children to feed the rest of their families,” the Post reported. “With temperatures dropping, the dire food situation across Afghanistan has been made worse.”
The United Nations Refugee Agency estimated last month that nearly 23 million people in Afghanistan face extreme levels of hunger while almost 9 million are at risk of famine — the population of Afghanistan is approximately 38.9 million.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said in September that high-level Taliban officials were assured of aid while meeting with the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs in Kabul, and the U.S. reportedly pledged nearly $64 million in new humanitarian assistance at the conference.
“The UN delegation promised continuation of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, saying he would call for further assistance to Afghanistan during the coming meeting of donor countries,” Shaheen tweeted.
Social media users were highly skeptical of the money being distributed to where it was truly needed… here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Really think that $$$ aid money will b going to needy Afghans? If so, I have a bridge to sell u.
— cathi viveros (@cathivMA) January 11, 2022
Listen I cant stand government welfare programs/handouts but wtf why not send this to poor Americans who need it? At least than is can make sense
— AjdaGreat (@543210AJdaGreat) January 11, 2022
China thanks you.
— Tom Baker (@TomBake91415833) January 11, 2022
Build back better
— M&M (@Michael89163624) January 11, 2022
Who will distribute this? The Taliban?
— Shirish Thorat (@shirishthorat) January 11, 2022
The country literally ruled by the Taliban 🤦🤦🤦 if it was going to cost us more anyway then why the heck did we leave
— Reckless Trucker ☭⃠ (@Chris84037133) January 11, 2022
All the weapons Biden gave them was not enough?
— Jon (@jshallack) January 11, 2022
America gone from “we do not negotiate with terrorists” to “we’ll happily fund terrorists” pretty quick under Beijing Biden
— Just a guy on the internet 🏴 🇬🇧 (@MrGlockLesnar) January 11, 2022
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