The United States announced Tuesday $308 million in new humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.
It came as the United Nations launched a record appeal for the people of Afghanistan, warning that half the country’s population is facing acute hunger.
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement that the aid would go directly from the U.S. Agency for International Development to “independent humanitarian organizations.”
USAID said in its own statement Tuesday that the funding would specifically go toward food and nutrition aid, supporting health care facilities and mobile health efforts, making sure aid workers and supplies can reach difficult areas, and programs to help people get through the winter such as shelter kits, heaters, blankets and warm clothing.
“The United States remains committed to helping the people of Afghanistan,” USAID said. “However, for this assistance to be the most effective, all aid workers, especially women, must be permitted to operate independently and securely and be able to reach women and girls without impediments. 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.”
In addition to announcing its own contributions, the United States also urged other nations to contribute.
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated since the withdrawal of U.S.-led coalition forces in August and the subsequent freezing of international aid to the Afghan government with the Taliban’s takeover of the country.
The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution in late December exempting certain humanitarian aid activities from U.S. sanctions against Taliban figures to try to get help to the Afghan people without relief funds benefitting the Taliban.