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The United States has provided $474 million in aid to Afghanistan in 2021, but U.S. sanctions could worsen the humanitarian situation and increase food insecurity. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has led to challenges for U.S. foreign policy, sanction strategy and humanitarian aid.

  • Jason Bartlett, research assistant for the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, said economic sanctions the U.S. imposes on Afghanistan unintentionally increase food insecurity by restricting Afghan citizens from accessing certain transactions and funds used to buy food or receive humanitarian aid.
  • Food insecurity issues are expected to increase exponentially because of the fall of Kabul, and it is unclear whether additional humanitarian aid the U.S. provided to the country last month will be enough with the harsh upcoming winter, said Bartlett.
  • Bartlett said one major problem is that the U.S. government has not created a formal definition of the Taliban, which makes it hard for institutions to determine the legality of certain transactions.

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