On April 14, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will pull the last of its military personnel out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. However, President Biden explained that although the United States will cease its military involvement in Afghanistan, U.S. assistance will continue. “We’ll continue to support the government of Afghanistan. We will keep providing assistance to the Afghan National Defenses and Security Forces,” he said.
On June 4, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in a written statement that as part of this commitment to the people of Afghanistan, the United States will provide more than 266 million dollars in new humanitarian assistance.
“This assistance from the American people will help our international humanitarian partners provide support to some of the estimated 18 million people in need in Afghanistan, including more than 4.8 million Afghans internally displaced,” said Secretary Blinken. “This year alone, more than 115,000 persons have been displaced by conflict inside Afghanistan, and nearly 500,000 have returned to Afghanistan in need of assistance.”
The funds will go to providing shelter, job opportunities, basic healthcare, emergency food, water, sanitation, and hygienic services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Furthermore, this assistance helps to address protection needs for the most vulnerable Afghans. This includes women and girls facing particular risks, including gender-based violence, as a result of the pandemic and decades of conflict,” said Secretary Blinken.
“For many years, the United States has prioritized support for Afghan returnees, refugees, and displaced persons. As the United States withdraws military forces from Afghanistan, our enduring commitment is clear. We remain engaged through our full diplomatic, economic, and assistance toolkit to support the peaceful, stable future the Afghan people want and deserve.
“We urge Afghan leaders and the Taliban to accelerate progress toward a negotiated political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire to bring an end to over forty years of conflict and create the conditions that will allow refugees to return to their homes safely.”