The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Today, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met virtually with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer about efforts to strengthen the provision of urgently needed humanitarian assistance and other activities supporting basic human needs in Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
Secretary Blinken highlighted the United States’ latest contribution of more than $308 million towards humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan and the U.S.’s ongoing commitment to support the people of Afghanistan. The funding will go to humanitarian organizations and help provide lifesaving protection and shelter, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
Secretary Blinken, Under-Secretary-General Griffiths, and ICRC President Maurer discussed how to further protect and support aid groups in overcoming challenges related to Afghanistan’s extremely difficult operational landscape to ensure that aid reaches the people who need it most and how to expand the pool of humanitarian donors.
The Secretary noted the Department’s robust and growing engagement on women’s issues in Afghanistan at senior levels, including the recent appointment of Rina Amiri as Special Envoy on Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights.
The Secretary, Under-Secretary-General Griffiths, and ICRC President Maurer also discussed the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities, including air strikes, in northern Ethiopia as well as steps toward facilitating a political settlement. The Secretary emphasized that all parties to the conflict must allow humanitarian access and alleviate suffering for all people in need in northern Ethiopia, regardless of ethnicity.