Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 31, 2022
Thank you, Secretary-General, for convening this important conference. And thank you to Germany, Qatar, and the United Kingdom for hosting.
We’ve just heard about the immense and dire needs that continue to face the people of Afghanistan. To that end, the United States is announcing today nearly $204 million in new humanitarian assistance funding for the UN and our non-governmental partners to deploy in Afghanistan and in support of Afghans in the region.
This humanitarian aid, like all aid from the United States, will go directly to NGOs and the United Nations. The Taliban will not control our humanitarian funding. Instead, this aid will bolster the UN’s Regional Refugee Response Plan, which supports countries that are generously hosting Afghans – including newly arriving refugees and Afghans seeking international protection. And it will support direct aid to the more than 22 million people in Afghanistan who are facing extreme food insecurity. That is more than half of the entire population, which is why it is so important that all of us continue to donate and provide resources for humanitarian assistance beyond this conference.
The people of Afghanistan have our unequivocal support. But the Taliban’s ambition to improve its own relations with the international community depends on its conduct. The Taliban recent decision to bar girls from secondary school after sixth grade is inexcusable. It is impossible not to feel a sense of profound outrage when we see girls and young women across Afghanistan wracked with tears as they learn they will have to leave their classrooms after all. I’m sure for many, the prospect of being shut out of their schools once again feels like the end of their dreams. This decision must be reversed. Education is a human right, and frankly, it is essential to Afghanistan’s economic recovery and stability – the same goals we hope to advance through our humanitarian pledge today. No society can succeed if half of its population is held back from participating in its civic and economic life.
In the meantime, we commend the work of our UN and civil society partners who are working to address the dire need in Afghanistan. Your lifesaving work is as urgent as it has ever been, and it is our job to ensure you have the funds and access to continue in full force.