US provides $300M more in Afghan aid before withdrawal

Baku, April 22, AZERTAC

The US is providing an additional $300 million to Afghanistan for civilian assistance ahead of its looming pull out, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, according to Anadolu Agency.

The aid "is being made available now to demonstrate our enduring support for the Afghan people," the top diplomat said in a statement.

"The funding will be targeted at sustaining and building on the gains of the past 20 years," said Blinken, while noting it will be used to bolster economic growth, fight corruption and the narcotics trade, improve health and education services, and support women's empowerment programs.

It will also go toward conflict resolution, civil society and independent media.

"As the United States begins withdrawing our troops, we will use our civilian and economic assistance to advance a just and durable peace for Afghanistan and a brighter future for the Afghan people," said Blinken.

The US is set to withdraw all of its forces from the country no later than Sept. 11, and in announcing his decision last week US President Joe Biden said diplomatic and humanitarian efforts would continue in Afghanistan, including efforts to bring intra-Afghan fighting to an end.

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