Center for American Progress

RELEASE: How the US and International Community Can Help Ease the Suffering of the Afghan People
Press Release

RELEASE: How the US and International Community Can Help Ease the Suffering of the Afghan People

Washington, D.C. — Creative policy thinking can help the United States and the international community avert the worst human security outcomes in Afghanistan, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.

The article offers several ideas for action that can stave off hunger and malnutrition; help Afghans rebuild sustainable livelihoods; and protect basic health care, services, and education. It urges these goals to be pursued despite the Taliban’s lack of interest in their core governing responsibilities.

“While it is unrealistic to expect the United States and its allies to financially support Afghanistan like they did before the Taliban seized power, that doesn’t mean the United States should sit back and do nothing as ordinary Afghans suffer under Taliban misrule,” said Peter Juul, a senior policy analyst at CAP and author of the column.

Talks between the United States and the Taliban in Qatar will be critical to get increased funds flowing to those Afghans most in need without bolstering the Taliban regime. The U.S. government also has made clear that sanctions against the Taliban and other terrorist networks in Afghanistan need not apply to Afghan ministries that provide basic services. Assistance provided directly to contractors and nongovernmental organizations could be expanded upon to provide the Afghan people with necessary aid moving forward.

The article also urges the United States to support a U.N. proposal called the “Transitional Engagement Framework.” This framework focuses on two main areas: immediate humanitarian relief, such as alleviating widespread food insecurity, and the provision of basic services. The United States should insist on strong safeguards to prevent international aid from falling into Taliban control or propping up Taliban rule.

Read the column: “Helping Afghans Without Helping the Taliban” by Peter Juul

For more information, or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.