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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

  • Kenneth McDonald
    signed 2022-04-26 20:51:34 -0400
  • Sylvia Manning
    signed 2022-04-26 20:51:27 -0400
  • Delia McGrath
    signed 2022-04-26 20:51:20 -0400
  • Katherine Crothers
    signed 2022-04-26 20:51:14 -0400
    Please help the innocents we have abandoned in Afghanistan -Daughter Vietnam Combat Veteran
  • Haskell Delaney
    signed 2022-04-26 20:49:59 -0400
  • John Leehane
    signed 2022-04-26 20:49:53 -0400
    I believe unfreezing the Central Bank funds would be a boon to Afghanistan. And I believe funding of further aspects to Afghan society would be of utter benefit.
  • Lorrie Beggs
    signed 2022-04-26 20:49:45 -0400
  • Valerie O Cornelius
    signed 2022-04-26 20:49:39 -0400
    This money belongs to the Afghan people! Not the Telaban. Pensions, money for food, paper, pencils for students. They are starving! Going down would help Issis! Please release the funds!
  • Matt Almonte
    signed 2022-04-26 20:49:27 -0400
  • jan Krick
    signed 2022-04-26 20:49:14 -0400
    We need to return all of the money we have been holding immediately to the Afghan people. Giving one dime of that to 911 survivors and families is completely inappropriate!
  • Janet Wallet-Ortiz
    signed 2022-04-26 20:49:09 -0400
    STOP hurting the Afghan people—-unfreeze their money—they have been through too much already—under war for 40 years! ISIS will be able to attract members as Afghanistan fails. GIVE THE AFGHAN people their money back NOW! Babies are starving to death! Women are devastated!
  • Justin Truong
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:55 -0400
  • Îzvara Predmore
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:54 -0400
  • adrienne amundsen
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:46 -0400
    Please do not forget Afghanistan and the horrific needs of the people we left behind. The repercussions of the war and its aftermath have left a humanitarian catastrophe.
  • Nancy Cochran
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:44 -0400
    PLEASE release this money to the Central Bank of Afganistan

    so that there are funds for regular people to eat, draw pensions, pay their business employees etc. We cannot keep this up because Afganistan will become a failed state!
  • Mike Caggiano
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:33 -0400
    We absolutely need to restore the Afghan Central Bank or a failed state will be the result along with zero security for us as well. THIS MUST NOT CONTINUE!!! Please unfreeze their funds as they are THEIR FUNDS and not anyone elses.
  • VeLora Lilly
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:28 -0400
  • Eileen Tahmoush
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:23 -0400
  • steve shapiro
    signed 2022-04-26 20:48:06 -0400
  • Barbara Larcom
    signed 2022-04-26 20:47:54 -0400
    Why would you freeze the Afghan people into starvation? That is what is happening right now! Please show your humanity and do the right thing!
  • Elizabeth Burr
    signed 2022-04-26 20:47:53 -0400
  • Cris Gutierrez
    signed 2022-04-26 20:47:40 -0400
    Our war in Afghanistan may have ended militarily, but now the freezing of Afghan funds continues the war by strangling the Afghani people financially.
  • Pamela Brubaker
    signed 2022-04-26 20:47:28 -0400
  • Jim Carpenter
    signed 2022-04-26 20:47:25 -0400
  • Chuck Altman
    signed 2022-04-26 20:47:20 -0400
  • Andrew Silver
    signed 2022-04-26 20:47:12 -0400
  • James Greene
    signed 2022-04-26 20:46:59 -0400
    Give the hungry people a chance.
  • Stephen Spitz
    signed 2022-04-26 20:46:58 -0400
  • jeannine declue
    signed 2022-04-26 20:46:58 -0400
  • Mark Reisinger
    signed 2022-04-26 20:46:55 -0400