The Biden administration is taking new actions in an attempt to facilitate humanitarian aid to people in Afghanistan, with the Department of Treasury allowing some financial transactions with the Taliban.
“The United States is the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in a statement Wednesday. “We are committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan, which is why Treasury is taking these additional steps to facilitate assistance.”
The Treasury issued three new “general licenses” that will allow certain types of financial transactions with the Taliban and Haqqani Network, who have been largely shut out of the international financial system by American sanctions aimed at stopping terrorism and human rights abuses.
“Treasury has provided broad authorizations that ensure NGOs, international organizations and the U.S. government can continue to provide relief to those in need,” Adeyemo said
The new actions come as Afghanistan faces an extreme humanitarian crisis, with more than half the population facing severe hunger as winter gets set to grip the country.
While the Treasury’s new general licenses put certain conditions in place on transactions with the Taliban, critics warn that it could serve to legitimize and assist Taliban rule.
House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, was critical of the move, saying that while he supports “efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance directly to the Afghan people,” the new policy is “shortsighted” and will “offer broad sanctions carveouts [that] could result in using American taxpayer funds to reward, legitimize and enable” the Taliban.
Treasury authorizes working with Taliban to facilitate aid to Afghanistan | Fox NewsTreasury authorizes working with Taliban to facilitate aid to Afghanistan | Fox News