After a massive earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan killed more than 1,000 people and leveled entire villages, the Biden administration faces fresh calls on Wednesday to return nearly $7 billion in central bank assets as it emerges from the seized from a war-torn and impoverished nation trying to recover. From the catastrophe
“Aid organizations have cited longstanding assets and the sanctions regime as insurmountable obstacles to getting Afghans to basic needs and emergency relief,” tweeted Advocacy for Afghans for a better tomorrow. ,[President Joe Biden] must act quickly and decisively at this critical moment; Time is of the essence.”
“Just because we don’t like the Taliban, our collective punishment of Afghan women, children and the entire population of ordinary Afghans is not an acceptable policy.”
The quake added to an already dire humanitarian crisis facing ordinary Afghans, millions of whom are suffering acute hunger while the country’s economy is on the brink of total collapse – amid US and European sanctions and other punitive measures. The United Nations warns that 97% of Afghans could fall into poverty this year.
Claire Daly, Socialist MEP required On Wednesday that officials in the Biden administration were “returning like crooks the billions stolen from the Afghan people.”
These funds are “needed now more than ever to address the disaster,” Daly wrote on Twitter.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced a move to permanently seize $7 billion in Afghan central bank assets that had been frozen since the Taliban took power last August. The administration said it would split the assets between an unspecified fund to help ordinary Afghans and family members of 9/11 victims.
New York Times Earlier this month it was reported that “at least six major groups of victims of 9/11 have reached a tentative agreement to divest about $3.5 billion in assets held by the Afghan central bank, which they consider part of the Taliban attempt.” to forfeit the legal claims against him.”
in a letter to the editor Washington Post Earlier this week, Kelly Campbell of 9/11 Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow — a group opposed to the Biden administration’s seizure of Afghan assets — wrote: “Just because we don’t like the Taliban doesn’t make Afghans punish our collective punishment of women , children and the entire population of ordinary Afghans is an acceptable policy.”
“In addition to withholding aid, the government has pumped billions of dollars into Afghan central bank funds, crippling the country’s economy,” Campbell said. “If we care about the Afghan people, including Afghan women, the United States must release funds from the Afghan central bank to get the economy back on its feet and ensure aid flows to prevent an immediate disaster .” and ultimately a failed state.”
In response to Wednesday’s earthquake, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration was “deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people in Afghanistan” — but gave no indication that he was seizing land became. Consider returning the property. ,
“President Biden is monitoring developments and has directed USAID and other federal government partners to review U.S. response options to assist those most affected,” Sullivan said.
Adnan Junaid, vice chairman of the International Rescue Committee for Asia, warned in a statement that “the impact of this disaster on local communities in the affected provinces is catastrophic and the impact of the quake on humanitarian aid, which is already spreading in Afghanistan.” Concerns.” a serious reason.”
“Money is needed now to save lives and support essential services, but the international community must move forward and create a roadmap that will help restart development aid, provide technical assistance to the central bank, and ultimately help Afghanistan progress.” Determine the strategy for the release of foreign exchange reserves. said June. “Only a bold strategy that tackles the causes of this crisis will end the population’s spiral of misery.”