US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price pointed out that US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West recently attended an OIC meeting in Islamabad, where a trust fund was set up.
New Delhi: US state Department Spokesperson Ned Price has said that the US will continue to be the world's humanitarian leader for the Afghan people. "But this's not something we can do alone." He urged other countries to come forward and help Afghanistan, "including countries very nearby, regional countries–that can and should do more for the Afghan people," media reports said.
At the media briefing asked which nearby countries the US would like to do more for Afghanistan, Mr Price said: "I don't think it is helpful for the cause of the humanitarian plight of the Afghan people for me specifically to call out countries by name." But there were "some perhaps fairly obvious countries in the region that have the ability and the stake in seeing an Afghanistan that is stable and secure," he said.
Afghanistan's economic crisis was not "entirely unique" to the present. "This is something that was pre-existing before the withdrawal of American military forces, but it's also something that has become more acute," he said.
India has time and again maintained that it has always stuck to the people of Afghanistan, but that did not mean going soft on the Taliban regime.
Noting that factors like the ongoing drought and dependence on foreign aid were not new, he said: "We absolutely believe there is an urgent humanitarian situation in Afghanistan now".
The American concern for the wellbeing of the Afghan people is further pronounced, given winter months, he said. Price pointed out that US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West recently attended an OIC meeting in Islamabad, where a trust fund was set up.
The United States supported the release of $280 million to Afghanistan last week from a World Bank fund. Price pointed out that the United States has sent $208 million of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan since August, which adds up to $475 million this year.
The US official acknowledged Afghanistan need more than just humanitarian assistance, and that's why the US Treasury had relaxed some sanctions imposed after Aug 15, when the Taliban seized Kabul. While the sanctions were already in place, the United States also froze about $9.5bn in assets and loans after the Taliban takeover. The move dealt a devastating blow to Afghanistan's fragile economy. This also aggravated the country's humanitarian crisis caused by drought and more than four decades of civil war.