The US will donate 1 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to Afghanistan, the US special envoy to Afghanistan said on late Tuesday.
“The United States has offered the people of Afghanistan one million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses through #COVAX,” Thomas West said on Twitter.
The envoy noted that with the additional vaccine doses, the total number of doses that the US donated to Afghanistan will reach 4.3 million.
He said that the aid will be added to the humanitarian assistance worth $474 million for Afghanistan this year.
The United States has offered the people of Afghanistan one million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses through #COVAX, bringing our total to 4.3 million doses and adding to $474M in U.S. humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan this year. We stand with the Afghan people.
— U.S. Special Representative Thomas West (@US4AfghanPeace) December 14, 2021
Afghanistan is among the top 5 countries in need of humanitarian aid, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid.
The UN estimates that 22.8 million people, which is more than half of the population, may experience serious food shortages in Afghanistan during the winter months.
World sends aid to ailing Afghanistan
A donor conference in Geneva on Monday saw countries promise a total of $1.2 billion in aid for Afghanistan, which was taken over by the hardline Islamist group last month in a lightning offensive that took retreating US troops by surprise.
Afghanistan, already heavily dependent on aid, is facing an economic crisis, with the new authorities unable to pay salaries and food prices soaring.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, the regime’s acting foreign minister, told a press conference the Taliban would spend donor money wisely and use it to alleviate poverty.
“The Islamic Emirate will try its best to deliver this aid to the needy people in a completely transparent manner,” Muttaqi said.
He also asked Washington to show appreciation for the Taliban allowing the US to complete a troop withdrawal and evacuation of more than 120,000 people last month.
“America is a big country, they need to have a big heart,” he said.
Muttaqi said Afghanistan, which is also facing a drought, had already received aid from countries such as Pakistan, Qatar and Uzbekistan, but did not give further details.
Read more: UN to aid Taliban led Afghanistan
He said he had held discussions with China’s ambassador on the coronavirus vaccine and other humanitarian causes, with Beijing pledging $15 million which will be available “soon”.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk