FILE PHOTO: Afghan women walk at a mosque in Herat, Afghanistan September 10, 2021 Photograph:( Reuters )
The move by US Treasury Department may pave way for more aid to reach Afghan people despite US sanctions on Taliban and Haqqani Network. Two licenses have been issued to provide aid to Afghanistan
The US Treasury Department on Friday issued general licenses that will further pave way for aid to flow into Afghanistan despite US sanctions on Taliban. The step was taken amid concern that USA's sanctions may compound humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
Treasury Department said that it had issued two general licenses. First would allow US government, NGOs and certain international organisations including the United Nations to engage in transactions with Taliban or Haqqani Network that are necessary to provide humanitarian assistance. Taliban and Haqqani Network are under sanctions.
Second license authorizes certain transactions related to the export and re-export of food, medicine and other items.
"Treasury is committed to facilitating the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and other activities that support their basic human needs," Andrea Gacki, director of the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement.
She added that Washington will continue to work with financial institutions, NGOs and international organizations to ease the flow of agricultural goods, medicine and other resources while upholding sanctions on the Taliban, Haqqani Network and others.
The United Nations said that at the start of the year more than 18 million people - about half of Afghanistan's population - require aid amid the second drought in four years.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week that Afghanistan is on "the verge of a dramatic humanitarian disaster" and has decided to engage the Taliban in order to help the country's people.
US President Joe Biden's administration has said it is committed to allowing humanitarian work in Afghanistan to continue despite Washington listing the Taliban as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group.
The sanctions freeze any US assets of the Islamist militant group and bar Americans from dealing with them, including the contribution of funds, goods or services.
(With inputs from agencies)