President Biden: Economic and humanitarian relief for Afghans
The situation in Afghanistan is described as a ‘living hell’, with over 3 million children suffering from malnutrition and only 2 percent of Afghans having enough food. Afghans have had to sell their belongings to avoid starvation or burn them to stay warm.
Afghanistan is currently facing the world's largest humanitarian crisis, and the United States is helping drive the country's economic collapse.
As an occupying power, the United States controls Afghanistan’s foreign currency reserves — over $9 billion in assets — and formerly doled it out to the central bank. Just before the Taliban entered Kabul, America halted the transfer of these assets and has yet to resume them. This disruption has caused Afghanistan's central bank to be unable to keep up with withdrawal demands. The lack of cash is causing food to become extremely scarce. Businesses and the government are not able to pay workers, throwing more than a half a million workers out of work.
The economic fallout has been dire, as would happen to any country that loses access to its own capital. U.S. sanctions have worsened the economic situation, and the Biden administration is urging European allies and multilateral institutions to aid in starving the nation of capital. Afghanistan's central bank has been in touch with foreign entities to help assist with access to paper currency, but they have declined, citing fears of U.S. sanctions.
If the U.S. and its allies continue down this path, nearly every Afghan citizen could be living in poverty by mid-2022. The UN and humanitarian agencies like the Red Cross have said they are “livid” and “terrified” and are urging the international community to increase humanitarian aid, release Afghanistan’s frozen assets, and jump-start its banking system to avert economic collapse.
The fight to revive Afghanistan's economy is a fight for our humanity and about showing our representatives what we are willing to accept.
Sign the petition to urge Congress and the Biden administration to:
End the Freeze on Afghanistan central bank funds to inject liquidity into the collapsing Afghan economy.
Lift sanctions to mitigate the chilling effect of restrictions on foreign banks and businesses while offering Afghan banks access to their overseas holdings and the global financial system.
Pledge additional emergency funding toward the United Nations' 2022 humanitarian aid appeal, and dedicate the necessary diplomatic capital to encourage Western partners to contribute their fair share. End practices that block international and humanitarian aid to Afghans.
Increase assistance to Afghan refugees and increase the capacity of the resettlement program here in the U.S.
Massachusetts Peace Action