UPDATE 2-U.S. grants licenses for more aid flow to Afghanistan despite sanctions

  • In World
  • 2021-09-24 16:46:49Z
  • By Reuters

(Adds spokesperson says U.S. has not reduced sanctions pressure on Taliban leaders)

By Daphne Psaledakis

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday further paved the way for aid to flow to Afghanistan despite U.S. sanctions on the Taliban, who seized control of the country last month, issuing general licenses amid concern that Washington's punitive measures could compound an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it issued two general licenses, one allowing the U.S. government, NGOs and certain international organizations, including the United Nations, to engage in transactions with the Taliban or Haqqani Network - both under sanctions - that are necessary to provide humanitarian assistance.

The 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.

U.N. 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.

U.S. 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 U.S. assets of the Islamist militant group and bar Americans from dealing with them, including the contribution of funds, goods or services.

Reuters reported last month that Washington issued a license authorizing the U.S. government and its partners to continue to facilitate humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

Friday's move expands on that specific license, allowing international organizations and NGOs to pay taxes, fees, import duties or permits, licenses or other necessary transactions for assistance to reach the people of Afghanistan.

The licenses allow NGOs and foreign financial institutions to continue humanitarian assistance such as the delivery of food, shelter, medicine and medical services, including COVID-19 assistance, a Treasury spokesperson said.

"We have not reduced sanctions pressure on Taliban leaders or the significant restrictions on their access to the international financial system," the spokesperson said.

A Taliban offensive as foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan after a 20-year war culminated in the capture of the capital Kabul on Aug. 15, two decades after they were driven from power by a U.S.-led campaign in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. (Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Mary Milliken and Grant McCool)


More Related News

Taliban pledge to step up security as Shi
Taliban pledge to step up security as Shi'ite victims buried in Afghanistan
  • US
  • 2021-10-16 10:59:04Z

KABUL (Reuters) -Taliban authorities pledged to step up security at Shi'ite mosques as hundreds of people gathered on Saturday to bury the victims of the...

Afghanistan: US offers to pay relatives of Kabul drone attack victims
Afghanistan: US offers to pay relatives of Kabul drone attack victims

Ten people were mistakenly killed by the US military in a drone strike on the Afghan capital.

Marine ordered to forfeit $5,000 in pay for videos critical of Afghanistan withdrawal
Marine ordered to forfeit $5,000 in pay for videos critical of Afghanistan withdrawal
  • US
  • 2021-10-15 16:24:00Z

Lt. Col. Stu Scheller was also given a letter of reprimand for posting social media videos questioning senior leaders for their roles in the withdrawal.

U.S. Treasury puts crypto industry on notice over rising ransomware attacks
U.S. Treasury puts crypto industry on notice over rising ransomware attacks

Suspected ransomware payments totaling $590 million were made in the first six months of this year, more than the $416 million reported for the whole of 2020...

Putin: No rush in officially recognizing Taliban
Putin: No rush in officially recognizing Taliban's rule
  • World
  • 2021-10-15 12:42:22Z

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday there must be no rush in officially recognizing the Taliban as the new rulers of Afghanistan, but emphasized the...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: World