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U.S. steps up aid to Afghanistan, bypassing Taliban



In view of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the U.S. is providing nearly 144 million dollars in additional aid, the National Security Council said on Friday in Washington.

U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region is to total nearly 474 million dollars this year.

But the National Security Council made it clear that support would not be provided through the government of the militant Islamist Taliban but through independent humanitarian organisations.

“Our partners provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihoods support, essential health care, winterisation assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs.

“Humaniterian needs are exacerbated by healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the impending winter,” NSC spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Monday that more than half of Afghanistan’s population could face acute hunger from next month.

The nearly 20-year U.S.-led operation in Afghanistan ended almost two months ago with the withdrawal of the last soldiers.

The Taliban had taken power again in Afghanistan in mid-August.

Since then, a large part of international aid and development funds have been suspended.

The reserves of the Afghan central bank parked abroad have been frozen.

Ummul Idris

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