Last week, the Biden administration announced operation “Allied Refuge” designed to help evacuate Afghans who helped NATO during the war in Afghanistan and now fear the Taliban’s* retribution.
US President Joe Biden has more than doubled the amount of funds allocated to helping Afghans, whose lives have become endangered as a result of the 20-year-long war in Afghanistan as the US and NATO are leaving the country. Previously, the funds were topped at $46 million, but now the limit has been upped to $100 million.
The money will be spent to meet “unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs, victims of conflict, and other persons at risk […] including applicants for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV)”, the White House’s statement said. The SIVs were introduced to help the Afghans, who chose to aid the US or NATO in their mission by working as interpreters or guides, leave the country and avoid the Taliban’s* retribution.
In addition to this, $200 more million will be directed to “services and articles from the inventories of US government agencies” used for the same purpose of helping the Afghans at risk.
Urgent Evacuation as Taliban Seizes Over 80% of Afghanistan
The increase in Washington’s spending on Afghans willing to leave the country comes as the Taliban is rapidly expanding its control over Afghanistan threatening the lives of those who used to help NATO and US forces. The movement has managed to secure 95% of the country’s borders and over 80% of the overall territory since the US started the withdrawal, which is approaching completion.
The Taliban still has no control over provincial centres and has been largely taking control over small towns and villages, most of which were abandoned by the Afghan National Army without a fight. At the same time, the country has seen a spike in violence recently, as the Taliban has intensified its attacks against government forces. Foreign media also expressed concern that with the Taliban’s advance, the human rights situation in Afghanistan might deteriorate quickly.