The European Union on Tuesday pledged about 2 1.2 billion in aid to Afghanistan to avert a humanitarian crisis, cut off from most international aid since the Taliban took power in August.
The aid was announced as part of a virtual summit on Afghanistan convened by a group of 20 of the world’s 20 largest economies.
“We must do everything possible to avoid a major humanitarian and socio-economic catastrophe in Afghanistan,” European Commission President Arsala van der Leyen said in a statement.
The statement added that the Afghan people should not pay the price for the Taliban’s actions.
The EU’s aid package includes about 350 350 million and about 29 290 million in humanitarian aid to help those in “urgent need, especially in the health sector”.
Despite warning bells from European leaders, no other summit participants, including the United States, announced an aid package on Tuesday.
Asked if allies were disappointed that the United States had not offered to do more during the summit, White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie said, “I haven’t heard from them.”
The G-20 countries have found themselves in a dilemma over aid to Afghanistan, which has been on the brink of collapse since the US withdrawal last month.
According to the World Health Organization, life-saving medicines in health clinics have run out, doctors have not been paid for months, and measles and diarrhea are on the rise.
The United Nations has warned that millions of Afghans could be deprived of food and that the risk of starvation is increasing as winter approaches. More than one million children are severely malnourished.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that Afghanistan was facing a “make or break moment” and called on other countries to help combat the storm.
But most G-20 countries have not officially recognized the Taliban government and are wary of writing checks. Twenty years ago, when the Taliban were running the country, they were accused of stealing humanitarian aid.
Daniel Ronde, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies project on prosperity and development, said countries should work through NGOs to keep aid out of the hands of the Taliban.
“It is a moral obligation to help our Afghans,” he told the Washington Times.
The United States last month offered ڈالر 64 million in aid, a relatively small amount compared to the European Union’s package. The Treasury Department froze more than 10 10 billion in Afghan government reserves in the United States, which contributed to the economic disaster.
However, the United States has historically been the largest supplier of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
Since 2002, the United States has provided more than 9 3.9 billion in aid, according to the US Agency for International Development, an independent government agency responsible for distributing foreign aid.
“The United States is committed to working with the international community and using diplomatic, humanitarian and economic resources,” the White House said in a statement after Tuesday’s summit.