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Tell President Biden: Unfreeze Afghan Fund and Provide More Humanitarian Aid

We are writing to President Biden about the severe economic crisis in Afghanistan, and measures that his administration should take to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people. One is to unfreeze the Afghan central bank funds being held in the U.S. and the other is to fill the $2 billion gap in the UN humanitarian aid appeal.

President Biden,

We are writing to you about the severe economic crisis in Afghanistan, and measures that your administration should take to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people. One is to unfreeze the Afghan central bank funds being held in the U.S. and the other is to fill the $2 billion gap in the UN humanitarian aid appeal. 

We disagree with your decision to split the $7 billion in Afghan central bank assets, with half held for possible compensation in a court case by 9/11 families and the other half to be returned to Afghanistan in some undetermined form at some undermined time. It is clear that ALL of Afghanistan’s central bank funds should be returned to Afghanistan’s Central Bank immediately. 

The freezing of Afghan central bank funds has contributed to the Afghan economy’s plunge into freefall. Afghans have not been able to withdraw their savings, salaries have not been paid, and businesses are going bankrupt. With millions of Afghans unemployed and hungry, these funds are critical to get the economy moving again. 

Your decision has been denounced by the Board of Afghanistan’s Central Bank, has infuriated Afghans both inside and outside the country, and has been criticized by human rights groups, members of the U.S. Congress, think tanks, legal organizations and even 9/11 families.

If your concern is that the Taliban might misuse the money, banking professionals have proposed releasing the money in monthly tranches. Monitors would check exactly where that money goes and what is done with it. The moment anything seems improper, a freeze could instantly be reinstituted.

In addition to reviving the Afghan economy, there is a need to address the immediate humanitarian crisis. The UN has put out an urgent appeal for $4.4 billion and an international pledging conference on March 31 fell short by $2 billion. The United States is indeed the largest donor, pledging a total of just over $500 million. But you, Mr. President, told the American public that the U.S. had been spending $300 million a day in Afghanistan for 20 years of war and occupation. Surely it is not too much to ask that the U.S. spend less than the equivalent of one week, $2 billion, to fill the gap in the UN appeal. 

Letting Afghanistan slide into total economic ruin will have devastating consequences. Children will die. More and more Afghans will flee the country, furthering the brain drain and fueling the refugee crisis. And terrorist groups will find fertile ground for the recruitment of young, disenfranchised men. 

The Afghan people deserve better after four decades of war. That is why we call on you to return the $7 billion to Afghanistan’s Central Bank and to provide the humanitarian funds needed to avert famine. 

Sincerely,  

 

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Showing 30 reactions

  • Gloria Stofan
    signed via 2022-04-27 09:27:49 -0400
  • Lisa Smith
    signed 2022-04-27 09:20:22 -0400
  • Junichiro Endo
    signed via 2022-04-27 01:38:36 -0400
  • Ty Kiatathikom
    signed 2022-04-27 01:18:08 -0400
  • Ellen Hage
    signed via 2022-04-27 01:16:33 -0400
    Please, we can’t stand by while innocent Afghan people suffer, starve and children die.

    Are we sending billions to Ukraine for weapons while turning our backs on the people of Afghanistan?
  • Susan Preston
    signed via 2022-04-27 00:13:21 -0400
  • Carolyn Jaramillo
    signed via 2022-04-26 22:45:00 -0400
  • Gerard Dalbon
    signed 2022-04-26 22:31:51 -0400
  • jean farmer
    signed via 2022-04-26 22:24:53 -0400
  • Marci Henzi
    signed via 2022-04-26 21:43:13 -0400
  • Garett Miller
    signed 2022-04-26 21:21:56 -0400
  • Tim Stires
    signed via 2022-04-26 21:19:46 -0400
  • Richard Burrill
    signed 2022-04-26 21:17:44 -0400
  • Joseph Ponzillo
    signed via 2022-04-26 21:13:58 -0400
  • Ann Sakaguchi
    signed 2022-04-26 21:11:35 -0400
  • Jan Strout
    signed 2022-04-26 21:07:39 -0400
  • Nell Kneibler
    signed 2022-04-26 21:05:37 -0400
  • Victoria Elson
    signed 2022-04-26 21:04:52 -0400
    This is not our money. Afghans did not attack the World Trade Center. A few greedy Americans want to starve the ordinary innocent people of Afghanistan? Shame.
  • Elisabeth Robledo
    signed 2022-04-26 21:04:34 -0400
    Thank you for your advocacy!
  • Deb Alper
    signed 2022-04-26 21:04:08 -0400
  • Carol Davidek Waller
    signed via 2022-04-26 21:04:02 -0400
  • Randy Ziglar
    signed 2022-04-26 21:03:37 -0400
  • Cynthia Kamp
    signed 2022-04-26 21:03:27 -0400
  • Ramin Atabaki
    signed via 2022-04-26 21:01:07 -0400
  • Jaime Padin
    signed via 2022-04-26 20:59:46 -0400
    It is unethical to starve the innocent people of Afghanistan and deny them any opportunity to live. We have withdrawn troops and stopped a physical war only to instill an even crueler economic one.
  • Shahlla Sherzoy
    signed 2022-04-26 20:56:33 -0400
    Please unfreeze the funds that are dedicated to my Afghan people. Denying them food and any and all opportunities will only strengthen the ISIS factions. Young Afghans will join forces with them out of anger and desperation. The United States, President Biden, must see how long term risk for instability is eminent.


    Shahlla Sherzoy

    Former Afghan Ambassador Mohammed Rahim Sherzoy’s Daughter-In-Law

    Silicon Valley Long Time Employee & Resident
  • Doris Tennant
    signed 2022-04-26 20:56:30 -0400
    Please do the right thing for a country that the US spent billions to wage a war for 20 years. A delegation of women is reporting on what they are seeing in Afghanistan. The people are desperate. Girls are not going to school. Money in the Central Bank released in tranches would make such a difference. Please for the sake of the children at least.
  • Candace Stoumen
    signed 2022-04-26 20:53:12 -0400
  • Katherine Futornick
    signed 2022-04-26 20:52:56 -0400
    Unfreezing Afghan funds will restore the economy, relieve the extreme hunger and poverty, and will provide an alternative and avoid people from joining ISIS or leaving Afghanistan. It’s the right thing to do.
  • David Mandel
    signed 2022-04-26 20:52:38 -0400