Contact your Representatives Now! - "Unfreeze Afghan $$$"

Join the End the Wars Coalition for an action in Milwaukee, Monday Dec. 20th at noon to ask Representative Moore to sign on to a letter concerning starvation of the population of Afghanistan. The rally is at 250 East Wisconsin Ave. Urgent!

  

According to the heartbreaking Dec. 4th New York Times report“Facing Economic Collapse, Afghanistan Is Gripped by Starvation,” the impending death toll from hunger in Afghanistan this winter “would dwarf the total number of Afghan civilians estimated to have been killed as a direct result of the war over the past 20 years.”

Our champions in Congress, including Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, are speaking out, and we can support them.

They are sending a statement to President Biden demanding an end to these devastating sanctions.

We need your member of Congress to sign this letter!

If you can't attend the Dec. 20th event in person, sign this Just Foreign Policy petition, sign our petition calling on Congress and the Biden administration to end these brutal sanctions.

Second, call your member of Congress.  

Simply call the switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be transferred to the office of your representative in the House (you can find your member of Congress here). When someone answers, say:

As a constituent, I am asking my representative to sign the Jayapal letter urging the administration to take action to avoid economic collapse in Afghanistan. Experts say one million children will die this winter if the U.S. does not change its sanctions policy. Will my representative sign the letter? And can you connect me with the foreign policy staffer or forward my message to them?

Thank you for taking action.

PS We thank Gwen for Voting against the Pentagon budget of $778 Billion and for voting yea on Combatting Islamophobia.

Peace Action of WI
http://www.peaceactionwi.org/

   

 

*Peace Action of Wisconsin

Address: 1001 E Keefe Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-269-9525
E-mail: info@peaceactionwi.org
Contact: Pam Richard, Office Manager

Website: www.peaceactionWI.org

 

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Dominik Stillhart, a senior Red Cross official, touring Afghanistan’s famine, was “livid”.

“When you’re standing in the pediatric ward in Kandahar’s largest hospital, looking into the empty eyes of hungry children and the anguished faces of desperate parents, the situation is absolutely infuriating," said Stillhart.[1] He was "livid", he said, because the crisis he was witnessing was "human made", created by the policy choices of the U.S. and other governments. 

I’m livid too. Because once again it’s our own country, yours and mine, that is harming literally millions of people as a direct result of our policy choices. 

If this angers you too, can you write your members of Congress and President Biden today? Ask that the U.S. stop blocking critical funds from reaching Afghans who are suffering.

The entire Afghan economy is on the brink of collapse. That’s happening because the U.S. and allied governments, after the Taliban takeover, choked off resources: suspending aid, freezing over $10 Billion in Afghan government resources, and applying international sanctions.

The result of the coercive economic measures against Afghanistan, the UN says, is the worst economic shock to a country they’ve ever seen.[2] More than half the population — 23 million people — are in desperate need of food. A staggering 97% of the 40 million population are at risk of sinking into poverty as the country goes into winter.

Sitara, an Afghan woman experiencing the human reality behind these numbers, described “seeing an old man with kids searching the potato fields hoping to find some remaining potatoes, to be able to feed themselves that night, although the crops had been harvested two months ago. If the Taliban and the international community don’t pay attention and do not help people, everybody will die.”[3]

Please write your Congressmembers and President Biden today. Ask them to free up the resources Afghanistan needs to address this humanitarian catastrophe.

The Biden administration is blocking transfers from the roughly $9.5 billion in Afghanistan Central Bank accounts in the U.S.. This is to punish and put pressure on the Taliban. But many independent analysts are doubtful that withholding aid and funds can significantly change the Taliban's calculations. The Taliban is a brutal and oppressive movement, but destroying the entire nation's economy is not the best way to address that. Meanwhile, there is growing and vivid evidence of the human pain this policy is causing in the hospitals of Kandahar and around the country. At the very least, the U.S. must follow the recommendations of many aid and human rights groups and disseminate Afghan assets parked in the U.S.. This could be done in a sustained way with monitoring in place to ensure support reaches those who need it the most.

Please write to your elected officials today.

It’s not just aid groups and human rights groups calling for an end to this policy of freezing aid and assets. Members of the foreign policy establishment have pointed out these destructive economic policies could backfire by creating a more volatile, violent and unstable state. As an Obama-era state department official expert on Afghanistan policy puts it, “If you are going to prevent state failure in Afghanistan, if you are going to prevent universal poverty, the total collapse of the economy, there is at the end of the day no way to do that other than to accept that you are going to be working with the Taliban rather than working against them”.[4]

Many of you have been members of Peace Action for a long time. You know we've long been working to make humanitarian aid a part of the solution in Afghanistan. The type of economic hardball the administration is playing is simply making Afghanistan’s long nightmare worse. It's cruel. With the U.S. troops finally leaving, now is no time for the U.S. to cause more suffering there. Please take action today.

Thank you for all that you do to make the world a more peaceful place, 

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

 

[1] An infuriating, man-made catastrophe points toward massive suffering for Afghan families, Relief Web, Nov. 22, 2021. 
[2] Afghanistan is facing the ‘worst humanitarian disaster we’ve ever seen,’ the UN says, CNBC, Nov. 12, 2021.
[3] Afghanistan Facing Famine, Human Rights Watch, Nov. 11, 2021.
[4] Work with, or isolate, the Taliban is a tough choice for US, Roll Call, Nov. 3, 2021.