US is working to provide nearly USD 300 million in additional civilian assistance to Afghstan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.
"As part of our commitment to invest in and support the Afghan people, we are working with Congress to provide nearly USD 300 million in additional civilian assistance for Afghstan in 2021 from both the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development," Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday.
He further said that US President Joe Biden was clear that while the United States will withdraw military forces from Afghstan, their support for the country will continue.
"This assistance, which we announced at the quadrennial donors' conference in November 2020 as potentially being available at a future date, is being made available now to demonstrate our enduring support for the Afghan people," he stated.
The US Secretary of State further stated that "the funding will be targeted at sustaining and building on the gains of the past 20 years by improving access to essential services for Afghan citizens, promoting economic growth, fighting corruption and the narcotics trade, improving health and education service delivery, supporting women's empowerment, enhancing conflict resolution mechsms, and bolstering Afghan civil society and independent media".
"As the United States begins withdrawing our troops, we will use our civilian and economic assistance to advance a just and durable peace for Afghstan and a brighter future for the Afghan people," he added.
Biden has announced that the US will start its final withdrawal of troops from Afghstan on May 1 and complete its pullout ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
( With inputs from ANI )
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