For Immediate Release:
Cole Harrison, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Brian Garvey, email@example.com
When: Monday, February 14th, 12pm-1pm
Where: Downtown Crossing, Boston, MA 02108
With the UN reporting that hunger in Afghanistan could kill more civilians than the 20-year Afghanistan war, an international debate is raging over the policy by the U.S. and other governments about getting aid to that country. The president just announced a plan to confiscate $7 Billion in Afghan funds and set aside half of it for families of 9/11 victims and to create a “third-party trust fund” to pay for humanitarian aid with the other half. Critics of the decision, including those who worked for the former U.S.-backed Afghan government, lambasted Biden’s decision saying that the currency reserves belong to the Afghan people.
With those debates as a background, peace groups and humanitarian groups are coming together in a Valentine’s Day Vigil to memorialize the loss of life and to ask that the U.S. change its policies.
“On this day celebrating love, we are here to memorialize the victims of this famine and show our care and compassion by asking policymakers to extend some love and support to the people of Afghanistan. We ask for a modification to the U.S.’s restrictive economic policies in order to prevent undue suffering to millions of innocent Afghans,” said Brian Garvey
“President’s Biden’s decision to confiscate $7 billion in assets from the Afghan people and set aside half of it for 9/11 victims is deeply unjust and will exacerbate the crisis in Afghanistan. It’s simply cruel for a U.S. president to decide to take half this money, which is not the Taliban’s, at a time when millions are suffering from starvation and economic freefall” said Jon Rainwater, Peace Action Executive Director.
“Unfortunately the president’s plan to confiscate the other half of the funds for a U.S.-established “trust fund” for aid is not as humane as it sounds. Humanitarian experts, including the UN and leading humanitarian groups, begged the U.S. to unfreeze these Afghan Central Bank reserves to inject liquidity into the Afghan economy. It is the collapsing economy that is driving the humanitarian crisis and Biden starving the Central Bank will result in more starving Afghans. The US-established trust fund’s billions may end up doing some good, but it is fear of attacks by Republicans, not smart humanitarian thinking driving this scheme.”