By: Lailuma Noori
US Department of State has informed of new humanitarian assistance worth $266 million for Afghanistan.
The US new aid package to Afghanistan will be spent in economic and diplomatic affairs of the country. The US Department of State, meanwhile, was asking the Afghan government and Taliban to speed up peace talks and declare permanent ceasefire so that the ground is paved for Afghan refugees to return their home.
In a statement released by the US Department of State, it was stressed that the US will continue its support to the people of Afghanistan for a peaceful future they deserve.
“The United States is fortunate to enjoy an enduring partnership with the people of Afghanistan even as U.S. troops depart, the United States is stepping up its political, economic, and diplomatic engagement with Afghanistan, strengthening our relationship for years to come,” the statement said.
It says the humanitarian aid contributions of the United States and its international partners seek to address the needs of an estimated 18 million Afghans who are suffering due to poverty, hunger, COVID-19, and displacement, adding that this new funding for the people of Afghanistan will provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihoods opportunities, essential health care, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services and respond to the needs generated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, the US Secretary of State had said that US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan would not harm strategic relations between the two countries, stressing that the US was committed to continued support to Afghanistan and its defense and security forces. He’d added that US would also continue peace efforts to help Afghanistan reach lasting peace and stability.
Afghan political experts believe that if Taliban joins the peace process and accepts the system, the international community particularly US should see this as a new mission to continue its humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, but if the assistance gets low or stopped, it is true that lots of problems will be created for current government of Afghanistan.
The international community has supported the government of Afghanistan in various political, security and economic sector in the past 20 years. The current international community’s assistance to Afghanistan is conditional to counter corruption and acceleration in political and economic situation in the ground.
Increasing poverty and insecurities are considered as key challenges facing Afghanistan.
With the continued assistance of the international community to Afghanistan, the government will work to address poverty and insecurities in the country.
The recent announcement of more than $266 million in new humanitarian assistance from the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) brings total US humanitarian aid for Afghanistan to nearly $3.9 billion since 2002.
This comes after US and NATO declared they would continue support to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) till 2024 under any circumstances. Full US and NATO troops withdrawal from Afghanistan won’t affect continued support of the international community particularly the US to Afghanistan and its people.