The US Department of State spokesperson said that Washington has suspended operations in Ghor province following “evidence of continued attempts by the Taliban” to divert assistance.
Speaking to reporters in Washington D.C., the US State Department’s Spokesman Mathew Miller also said that the World Food Program halted distribution in two districts of Ghazni province from January to April, when local officials attempted to interfere in distribution.
“In April, another US government partner suspended activities in Uruzgan province after the Taliban issued demands to provide transportation support to Taliban representatives ... We have been very clear. We don’t provide funding for the Taliban and we have a very strict monitoring and compliance process in place for the partner with which we do work,” he said.
“The Islamic Emirate has the control of the whole country. And there is no doubt that they also have access to this money,” said Seyar Qureshi, an economist.
Miller said that the State Department and US Agency for International and Development (USAID) worked with all partners to provide basic needs assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
“The State Department and USAID continue to work with the World Bank, with the UN, with NGOs and other implementing partners and like-minded governments to provide humanitarian basic needs assistance to the people of Afghanistan. Not to the Taliban,” Miller said.
This comes as the Ministry of Economy (MoE) said that the suspension of some aid by the US will damage Afghanistan.
“The suspension of aid will damage the people of Afghanistan and it will cause livelihood challenges and so we demand that the US release the money of the people of Afghanistan,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, the deputy Minister of Economy.
“The reduction of aid by the US is kind of a pressure tactic on the Taliban and it can also be because of the lack of a formation of an inclusive government which is in favor of the US and West,” said Sayed Masoud, an economist.
Earlier, speaking to the US House Oversight Committee, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconciliation (SIGAR) John Sopko testified that he cannot say whether the US assistance is currently not “funding the Taliban.”