The Biden administration plans to donate an extra $308 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, bringing total U.S. aid for the impoverished country and Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $782 million since October, the White House said on Tuesday.
The Unites States is also providing one million additional coronavirus vaccine doses to Afghanistan, bringing the total to 4.3 million doses, the White House added.
The assistance from the United States Agency for International Development will be channelled through independent humanitarian organizations to provide shelter, health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation and hygiene services, the government said.
The United Nations says nearly 23 million people – about 55% of the population – are facing extreme levels of hunger, with nearly 9 million at risk of famine as winter takes hold.
Afghanistan’s economic crisis accelerated after the Taliban seized power in August, as the former Western-backed government collapsed and the last U.S. troops withdrew.
Last month, the United States formally exempted U.S. and U.N. officials doing permitted business with the Taliban from U.S. sanctions to try to maintain the flow of aid to Afghanistan as it sinks deeper into a humanitarian crisis.