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US House Dems warn of ‘imminent mass starvation’ in Afghanistan, urging Biden to unfreeze Afghan central bank reserves

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Taliban fighter walks next to women waiting in line during a World Food Program food distribution on the outskirts of Kabul on November 6, 2021. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

More than 40 House Democrats are warning about "imminent mass starvation" in Afghanistan, calling on US President Joe Biden to open up access to  the impoverished country’s economic reserves.

Led by progressive Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Sara Jacobs and Jesús Garcia, the 46 lawmakers made the comments in a letter sent to the Democratic president.

Nearly $10 billion in Afghan government funds were effectively frozen in American banks in the wake of the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan after over 20 years of occupation, which allowed the country to fall in the hands of the Taliban.

"This means conscientiously but urgently modifying current US policy regarding the freeze of Afghanistan's foreign reserves and ongoing sanctions," they wrote.

The American lawmakers assessed that there could be "more civilian deaths in the coming year than were lost in 20 years of war.”

The lawmakers suggested that the administration should still engage with the Taliban.

“Pragmatic US engagement with the de facto authorities is nevertheless key to averting unprecedented harm to tens of millions of women, children and innocent civilians,” they said. “No one benefits from a failed state in Afghanistan.”

Biden finally kept an old promise by former American leaders to end the war in the impoverished country but at the expense of giving it back to a strengthened Taliban.

After more than 20 years of military presence in Afghanistan, Washington failed to bring about any real change and had to leave in disgrace.


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