U.S. and international officials are going to airlift U.S. cash into Afghanistan for humanitarian aid while “denying assets” for the Taliban government and its leaders, according to Reuters.
Emergency funding for Afghanistan, intended to avert a humanitarian crisis in the midst of food shortages and political upheavel, would mean U.S. cash flown into Kabul for distribution through banks, Reuters reported. Officials intend to send $200 directly to Afghans, bypassing the Taliban.
The U.S. and Europe are said to be creating an international trust fund to bypass the Taliban and sponsor local services. International groups such as the World Food Program and the United Nations are also looking into flying in U.S. cash, officials said, according to Reuters.
A U.S. Treasury official said the department grants humanitarian assistance through international and non-governmental organizations, Reuters reported.
Internationally one approach would be for the World Food Program to airlift U.S. money and distribute it to individuals to purchase essentials such as food. A second approach would be for the U.N. to send cash currently held in banks, according to internal policy documents obtained by Reuters.
Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and withdrawal of U.S. troops, foreign donors and investors have pulled billions from the country.
The International Monetary Fund put a stop to Afghanistan’s resource availability, including $460 million in emergency funds on Aug. 18. The World Bank stopped aid to Afghanistan one week later due to concerns about “development prospects, especially for women,” the BBC.
The U.S. also froze billions of dollars held in Afghanistan’s central bank, preventing the Taliban from accessing an estimated $9.4 billion in international reserves.
Prior to the Taliban takeover, approximately 75% of Afghanistan’s public spending had been financed by foreign grants according to the World Bank. International groups estimate that 14 million Afghans are suffering from hunger and the country’s economy could collapse.
“If the country collapses, we will all pay the consequences,” a senior European Union official said, “No one wants to rush into a recognition of the Taliban, but we need to deal with them. The question is not if … but how.”