How to prevent tens of thousands of Afghans from starving to death,

Adam Weinstein, research fellow at the Quincy Institute and a former U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan

Millions of Afghans will starve as Americans carve our Thanksgiving turkeys next month. By the time Christmas rolls around it may be too late to save them. […]

Washington can still avert a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan.

First, the Treasury Department should grant more expansive licenses which will exempt aid organizations from sanctions. The Biden administration should make it clear to NGOs that providing food and healthcare to Afghans will not put them in hot water with the United States. Second, Washington should focus humanitarian aid on Afghanistan’s health facilities. Lack of access to healthcare disproportionately affects women and Afghanistan’s medical clinics are one of the few settings where the Taliban have demonstrated some willingness to allow women to work. Third, the United States should continue funding Afghan schools while also calling on the Taliban to allow girls to access all levels of education. Salaries for individuals carrying out critical public services such as healthcare workers and teachers could potentially be made without going through the Taliban. Instead, they can be handled directly by institutions like the World Bank, UNICEF, or trustworthy non-governmental organizations with ground access. It is in the Taliban’s interest for these institutions to stay afloat regardless of who is paying for it and how.

Finally, the United States should begin to unconditionally release portions of Da Afghanistan Bank’s (Afghanistan Central Bank) $9.5 billion in frozen Afghan assets, much of which is held in the United States, and demand specific Taliban actions in exchange for releasing the rest. Providing humanitarian aid here and there without allowing money to flow into Afghanistan’s financial system will simply apply a feel-good bandaid to a bullet wound. Läs artikel

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