The United States announced, Friday, June 4, additional humanitarian aid of 266 million dollars (about 220 million euros) for Afghanistan, intended mainly for the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As the United States withdraws its forces from Afghanistan, our commitment is clear”, assured the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken by announcing this new aid. “We remain determined, using all our diplomatic, economic and assistance means, to support the peaceful and stable future that the Afghans demand and deserve”.
These funds are intended for protective equipment, shelter, health and hygiene care, as well as the protection of the most vulnerable, especially women and girls.
These $ 266 million, including $ 157 million released by the American international aid agency USAid and $ 109 million by the State Department, bring the United States’ humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to more than $ 543 million. under the 2021 budget.
The thorny case of Afghan interpreters
The US administration has still not made a decision on the evacuation of the Afghan interpreters who have cooperated with the US military and fear for their lives after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. About 20 congressional officials asked Friday, in an open letter to President Joe Biden, to evacuate ” at once “ the more than 18,000 interpreters and their families who have applied for immigration visas to the United States.
“Each request takes more than 800 days to complete and we expect to be out in less than 100 days”, indicate the elect in this letter. No American institution “Has neither the capacity nor the authority to protect them in Afghanistan after our withdrawal”, continue these elected Democrats as Republicans. “It would be immoral to hold the Afghan government responsible for protecting our Afghan partners”.
Asked about this on Friday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the White House had still not ordered the US military to evacuate these Afghans. “We are informed of the interest of the Congress” for that matter, Mr Kirby said. “But nothing has changed since the last time we talked about all this”.