The $ 266 million in humanitarian aid announced by the United States in favor of Afghanistan will be mainly used to fight the pandemic
Elvira Ragosta – Vatican City
“As the United States withdraws its forces from Afghanistan, our commitment is clear,” says US diplomacy chief Antony Blinken, announcing this new aid. The Americans have pledged 266 million dollars and will be used to equip the country with anti-Covid protective devices, housing, health and hygiene care and the protection of the most vulnerable, especially women and girls. The aid comes from both the US agency USAID and the State Department. “We remain determined – continues Blink – using all our diplomatic, economic and assistance means to support the peaceful and stable future that the Afghans demand and deserve”. With this new figure announced, total US humanitarian aid to Afghanistan is over $ 543 million relative to the 2021 budget.
The future of interpreters
On the military ground, however, Washington has not yet made a decision on evacuating the Afghan interpreters who have worked with the US military and who now fear for their lives as foreign troops withdraw. Twenty members of Congress yesterday wrote to President Joe Biden asking to evacuate “immediately” the more than 18,000 interpreters and their families who have applied for visas to come to the United States. Each application “takes more than 800 days on average and we plan to withdraw in less than 100 days,” the officials stressed in the letter, noting that no American entity “has the capacity or authority to protect them in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.
UN: Taliban violence is growing in the country
Meanwhile, a report drawn up by UN experts for the UN Security Council and reported by the Associated Press says that the Taliban, far from trying to facilitate the peace process with the Afghan government, are strengthening their military position and the “unprecedented” levels of violence recorded in 2020 are also being witnessed this year. The document indicates the insurgents as responsible for the “overwhelming majority” of the political killings in the country, attacks that have “the aim of weakening the government and intimidating civil society”. According to UN experts, the Taliban can count on a number of fighters between 58,000 and 100,000 and on ties with al Qaeda that have remained strong.