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The US Treasury issues license to American and UN officials, as well as humanitarian NGOs, allowing them to deal with the Taliban.
The Biden administration issued “broad authorizations” to ensure that the United Nations, American government agencies, and aid groups can provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan without violating Taliban sanctions.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued three licenses allowing US government officials and international organizations, including the United Nations, to conduct “official business” with the Taliban and Haqqani Network. It also authorized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work with the two US-blacklisted Afghan groups on humanitarian projects.
The US moves forward as Afghanistan’s economy has been in shambles since the Taliban took control of the country in August. According to the World Food Programme, the crisis has left nearly 23 million people facing acute food insecurity.
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo stated that the US is “committed to supporting” Afghans in the midst of the country’s humanitarian crisis.
“The Treasury has provided broad authorizations to ensure that non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the United States government can continue to provide relief to those in need,” Adeyemo said in a statement.
The country had long been reliant on foreign aid, and after the Taliban took over, most of its foreign assets were frozen. The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.
Earlier on Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to make it easier to deliver humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
“Payment of funds, other financial assets, or economic resources, as well as the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities,” the resolution stated.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, praised the UN resolution, noting that it was drafted by the US.
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