The European Commission is putting together a support package for the people of Afghanistan totaling around €1 billion.
The Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the support package during a G20 meeting on Afghanistan, calling it an investment in security and stability.
“We must do all we can to avert a major humanitarian and socio-economic collapse in Afghanistan,” said von der Leyen in a statement.
“We need to do it fast. We have been clear about our conditions for any engagement with the Afghan authorities, including on the respect of human rights. So far, the reports speak for themselves. But the Afghan people should not pay the price of the Taliban's actions.”
Von der Leyen made clear that the support package is intended for the Afghan people and the country’s neighbours who have been providing them with help.
A statement from the European Commission said that the socio-economic situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, putting hundreds of thousands of Afghans just before the onset of winter.
Humanitarian assistance alone will not be enough to avert famine and a major humanitarian crisis, the statement read in part.
Overall EU development aid to Afghanistan has remained and will continue to remain frozen since the Taliban assumed control of the country’s government. Certain benchmarks agreed upon by EU Foreign Ministers must be met before that sort of development aid can resume. The announcement of the aid package comes on the heels of discussions held by EU Ministers surrounding exactly how to provide direct support to the Afghan population in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, without legitimising the Taliban government currently in control of the country.
Europe is taking the leadership of the global solidarity effort.The Afghan Support Package worth almost €1 billion is an investment in security and stability. I hope ?? Member States will top it up with contributions. pic.twitter.com/GCfON0a4yr — Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) October 12, 2021