The European Union is earmarking another EUR 700 million for aid to Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries. After the takeover by the Taliban, the economy is on the brink of collapse, and winter is approaching.
Brussels notes that the 300 million that the EU already made available for humanitarian emergency aid is not enough. But development aid has been frozen since the departure of US troops and their allies and the fall of the pro-Western government.
To help the Afghans anyway, the EU is contributing at least 250 million for health care, among other things. That money does not go to the Taliban regime but must reach ordinary Afghan people through aid organizations, the European Commission underlines.
Another million will benefit neighbouring countries that have received Afghans who have fled their country. It is intended for shelter and the fight against criminal gangs, people smugglers, and terrorists in the making.
The extra money brings the total sum for EU aid to Afghanistan to about 1 billion, says committee chair Ursula von der Leyen. The announcement coincides with the EU’s first official meeting with the new regime since the Taliban overran last summer.