ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
As part of our commitment to the people of Afghanistan, the United States is providing nearly $64 million in new humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. This brings total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $4 billion since 2002.
This assistance from the United States will flow through independent humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and provide support directly to the more than 18.4 million vulnerable Afghans in the region including Afghan refugees. This funding will allow our partners to provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihoods support, essential health care, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services to respond to the needs generated by recent conflict and compounded by the severe drought and other natural disasters, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Afghanistan’s neighbors have hosted one of the largest, most protracted refugee situations in the world. We thank host countries for their ongoing commitment to the Afghan people and urge them to keep their borders open to Afghans seeking international protection. We are working with our partners to assist host countries in their efforts.
The United States is the largest single humanitarian donor to Afghanistan, and with this announcement, will have provided nearly $330 million this fiscal year alone. The United States has prioritized support for Afghan refugees, refugee returnees, and other displaced persons for years, and our enduring commitment is clear. We remain engaged through our full diplomatic, economic, and assistance toolkit to support the peaceful, stable future the Afghan people want and deserve. The United States will also work with the international community to help ensure that the Taliban follow through on its commitments and advance unhindered humanitarian access, freedom of movement for aid workers of all genders, safety and security of humanitarian staff, and safe passage for all those who wish to leave Afghanistan. We will continue to press for the Taliban to respect the rights and freedoms of women and girls, and are committed to preserving the gains Afghans, especially women, have made in the past 20 years. We will work vigorously to support all vulnerable populations in Afghanistan, including — but not limited to — women, children, journalists, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, and members of ethnic and religious 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.