As part of our enduring commitment to the people of Afghanistan, the United States announced today nearly $144 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis. This assistance brings the total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $474 million in 2021, the largest amount of assistance from any nation.
This assistance is provided directly to independent humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international and non-governmental organizations following extensive vetting and monitoring. This funding provides support directly to some of the more than 18 million vulnerable Afghans in need in the region, including Afghan refugees in neighboring countries. It will enable our partners to provide lifesaving protection, food security support, essential health care, winterization assistance, logistics, and emergency food aid, in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by healthcare shortages, COVID-19, drought, malnutrition, and the impending winter. To be clear, this humanitarian assistance will benefit the people of Afghanistan and not the Taliban, whom we will continue to hold accountable for the commitments they have made.
Afghanistan’s neighbors have long hosted one of the largest, most protracted refugee situations in the world. We thank host countries for their ongoing commitment to the Afghan people, to the principle of non-refoulment, and urge them to keep their borders open to Afghans seeking international protection. With this new humanitarian funding, we will continue to support our partners in the region with lifesaving assistance and protection services to Afghan refugees, while we continue to support Afghans in need inside Afghanistan.
Our enduring commitment to the people of Afghanistan is certain. We will work vigorously to support all persons in vulnerable situations, including — but not limited to — women, children, journalists, human rights defenders, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, and members of 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.