The United States is working tirelessly with the international community to ensure humanitarian assistance and other essential support flows to the people of Afghanistan to support those in need. During Fiscal Year 2021, the United States provided nearly $474 million in humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region making us the single largest provider of humanitarian assistance. We will continue to support efforts by our partners to scale up assistance and deliver necessary relief during this moment of particular need.
In line with that, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued three General Licenses today to facilitate the continued flow of vital assistance and support for the Afghan people. These licenses expand upon existing authorizations for the provision of humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs and enable broader support for the Afghan people consistent with Resolution 2615 (2021) adopted by the UN Security Council earlier today. This Resolution, drafted by the United States and unanimously adopted by the 15 members of the UN Security Council, establishes a carveout in the UN 1988 sanctions regime to ensure urgently needed aid can reach the Afghan people. The Resolution also requests periodic updates by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator to ensure assistance is reaching the intended beneficiaries, not being diverted to the Taliban. UN sanctions are an important tool to respond to threats and human rights abuses, but we must make sure these sanctions do not hinder the delivery of urgently needed aid to the Afghan people.
While U.S. sanctions on the Taliban remain in place, OFAC has provided broad authorizations that ensure nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, and the U.S. government can continue to provide assistance and critical support to the most vulnerable Afghans. OFAC is also issuing a Fact Sheet that highlights all the relevant authorizations and guidance that facilitate the flow of humanitarian assistance, personal remittances, and other support to the Afghan people.
In addition, the United States will provide the people of Afghanistan one million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses through COVAX, bringing our total to 4.3 million doses. We stand with the Afghan people. – Secretary Anthony Blinken