The United States continues to use its full diplomatic, economic, and assistance toolkit to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
Today, President Biden welcomed Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to the White House to discuss enduring United States support, including through security assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, development and humanitarian assistance to support the Afghan people, and diplomatic engagement in support of peace.
Our strong support and partnership is designed to prevent Afghanistan from ever again being used as a safe haven for terrorism; maintain Afghan stability and build self-reliance; promote economic growth; preserve social gains in education, health and women’s empowerment and the rule of law; protect the rights of women, girls, and minorities; bolster Afghan civil society; and respond to humanitarian needs. Since 2002, the United States has provided nearly $88 billion in security assistance, $36 billion in civilian assistance, including $787 million specifically intended to support Afghan women and girls, and nearly $3.9 billion in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
The United States will continue to provide assistance through its enduring partnership with Afghanistan to promote a peaceful and stable future that the Afghan people want and deserve. This includes:
Providing COVID-19 vaccines to the Afghan people. As part of our work to end the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, and in response to a recent surge in COVID cases in Afghanistan, the United States will donate three million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine to the people of Afghanistan through COVAX. COVAX is working to ship those doses to Afghanistan.
Providing critical emergency medical assistance to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. USAID is also supporting Afghan efforts to respond to the critical shortfalls in oxygen and medical ventilation support by providing emergency and structural assistance. USAID has ordered over 300 oxygen cylinders and several months’ worth of ventilator consumables to be shipped to Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Additionally, USAID plans to install oxygen plants in four hospitals that will serve smaller facilities in the surrounding areas. USAID previously announced that they are investing $3.7 million to train clinicians to manage severe cases in the five hardest hit urban cities and provide critical expertise for vaccine deployment.
Providing needed assistance to help with the pandemic’s impacts. This is in addition to in the past year, the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have provided $40 million to directly help Afghanistan respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, expedited $90 million in other COVID-related development assistance through the World Bank, and reoriented other U.S. development assistance to support Afghan efforts to deal with the pandemic’s consequences. And, USAID recently committed $38 million in emergency COVID-19 supplemental funding to the UN World Food Program (WFP) to address the food and nutrition needs of approximately 1.2 million COVID-impacted vulnerable people in Afghanistan. WFP will reach over a million people most affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 with in-kind food assistance to help them meet their food needs for four months. Additionally, with this funding, WFP will reach more than 164,000 children and nearly 28,000 pregnant and lactating women with essential moderate acute malnutrition treatment.
Contributing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to Afghans in need. The U.S. recently announced more than $266 million in new humanitarian assistance to address the pressing needs of an estimated 18 million people in Afghanistan, including more than 4.8 million internally displaced Afghans. This funding will allow our partners to provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihood opportunities, essential health care, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services to respond to the needs generated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, this assistance will help 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 decades of conflict and the pandemic.
Continuing security assistance. The Department of Defense’s Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) will provide financial support to the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, Afghan Air Force and the Afghan Special Security Forces, including the Special Mission Wing. Congress appropriated over $3 billion to ASFF in 2021 and the President has requested over $3.3 billion for 2022.
Sustaining development assistance to support a secure, stable, unified, democratic, and self-reliant Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors. As part of our commitment to invest in and support the Afghan people, the United States has recently announced an additional $300 million in civilian assistance for Afghanistan in 2021 through both the Department of State and USAID. The President has also requested an additional $364 million in development assistance for the State Department and USAID for 2022.
This assistance demonstrates our enduring support for the Afghan people. The funding will be targeted at sustaining the gains of the past 20 years by improving access to essential services for Afghan citizens, promoting economic growth, fighting corruption and the narcotics trade, improving health and education service delivery, supporting women’s empowerment, enhancing conflict resolution mechanisms, supporting the Afghan-led peace process and bolstering Afghan civil society.
Mobilizing diplomatic support for peace and stability. The United States continues to press for a just and durable peace in Afghanistan. The United States recognizes that the best way to protect our interests and the interests of the Afghan people is through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led negotiated settlement. Following intensive efforts by the State Department and a number of our key allies and partners, formal Afghanistan Peace Negotiations started last year for the first time since 2001. We continue to urge all Afghan parties to engage urgently and meaningfully in peace talks aimed at achieving a just and durable settlement that includes protections for the rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities. The appointment of Mr. Jean Arnault as the United Nations Secretary General’s personal representative on Afghanistan and regional issues reflects the critical role of the United Nations in bringing together Afghan sides and regional stakeholders to end Afghanistan’s more than 40-year war.
Standing with Partners in Support of the Afghan people. Building on the broad international support for the Afghan people, the United States will encourage our partners to continue their security and development assistance, including through the Afghan National Army Trust Fund (ANATF), Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). The United States will also work closely with other major donors to ensure continued development and humanitarian assistance to help the Afghan people.