U.S. provides over $11 billion in aid to Afghanistan, Afghan refugees: SIGAR

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported to Congress that since the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, the United States has provided $11.21 billion in assistance to Afghanistan and Afghan refugees.

According to the quarterly report, “Since U.S. forces withdrew from Afghanistan, the United States has appropriated or otherwise made available $11.21 billion in assistance to Afghanistan and Afghan refugees, maintaining its position as the largest donor to the Afghan people.”

The report outlines that this includes nearly $2.63 billion in U.S. appropriations for Afghanistan assistance, primarily for humanitarian and development aid, and $3.5 billion transferred to the Afghan Fund, potentially for recapitalization of Afghanistan’s central bank and related purposes.

Additionally, the United States obligated over $5.08 billion in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 for the Department of Defense to support Afghan evacuees with transportation, housing, and sustenance.

The report also highlights the United States’ response to evolving humanitarian crises in Afghanistan. Following Pakistan’s initiation of its “Illegal Foreigners’ Repatriation Plan,” which aims to deport all undocumented Afghans, approximately 493,000 Afghans have returned to Afghanistan, either through deportation or coercion, exacerbating the strain on resources. These returning Afghans require essential services including food, water, health services, legal aid, explosive risk ordnance education, protection, and shelter.

In response, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a $75.7 million humanitarian response for 2023–2024. The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) contributed $3.6 million to Border Consortium partners to assist newly returned Afghans at border reception and transit centers. PRM is also tracking Afghans eligible for U.S. resettlement who may be deported to Afghanistan. The report noted that $1.82 billion of the nearly $2.63 billion appropriated for assistance since the end of FY 2021 has been allocated to humanitarian aid, representing 69% of the total, while another $409 million, or 16%, was for development assistance.

SIGAR’s report also indicates that the United States committed to allocating an additional $80 million to Afghanistan for humanitarian aid in the first three months of this year.

The report includes an assessment of the Afghan revenue collection, noting a 3.1 percent increase last year by the Taliban. It also states that the United Nations estimates a decrease in the number of people in Afghanistan needing humanitarian assistance, from 28.3 million in 2023 to 23.7 million in 2024.

Furthermore, SIGAR examined the security situation in Afghanistan, reporting an increase in ISIS attacks on Shiites and Hazaras, with four attacks recorded from October 2023 to January 2024. The report also mentions the resurgence of Al-Qaeda threats in Afghanistan, including three press statements issued by Al-Qaeda’s general command, believed to be based in Afghanistan, calling for attacks on U.S., European, and Israeli embassies and buildings.