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blinken: US announces $144 million humanitarian assistance for people of Afghanistan


WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced nearly $144 million in humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
This assistance brings the total US humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $474 million in 2021, the largest amount of assistance from any nation, Blinken said in a statement.
Underlining that Afghanistan’s neighbours have long hosted one of the largest, most protracted refugee situations in the world, Blinken said that the US thanks host countries for their ongoing commitment to the Afghan people, to the principle of non-refoulment, and urge them to keep their borders open to Afghans seeking international protection.
“With this new humanitarian funding, we will continue to support our partners in the region with life-saving assistance and protection services to Afghan refugees, while we continue to support Afghans in need inside Afghanistan,” said Blinken.
The assistance is provided directly to independent humanitarian organisations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international and non-governmental organizations following extensive vetting and monitoring, the statement read.
The funding will provide support directly to some of the more than 18 million vulnerable Afghans in need in the region, including Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries.
It will enable US partners to provide lifesaving protection, food security support, essential health care, winterization assistance, logistics, and emergency food aid, in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by healthcare shortages, Covid-19, drought, malnutrition, and the impending winter, the statement added.
The assistance will benefit the people of Afghanistan and not the Taliban, whom we will continue to hold accountable for the commitments they have made, Blinken said.
Referring to the enduring commitment of the US to the people of Afghanistan, Blinken said that Washington “will work vigorously to support all persons in vulnerable situations, including — but not limited to — women, children, journalists, human rights defenders, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, and members of minority groups”.
“We welcome the contributions of other donors toward this international response and urge others to generously support Afghanistan’s immediate humanitarian needs and maintain support for the Afghan people,” he said.

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