WASHINGTON, Jan 11 —The Biden administration plans to donate an extra US$308 million (RM1.3 million) in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, bringing total US aid for the impoverished country and Afghan refugees in the region to nearly US$782 million since October, the White House said today.

The Unites States is also providing one million additional coronavirus vaccine doses to Afghanistan, bringing the total to 4.3 million doses, the White House added.

The assistance from the United States Agency for International Development will be channelled through independent humanitarian organisations to provide shelter, health care, winterisation assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation and hygiene services, the government said.

The United Nations says nearly 23 million people — about 55 per cent of the population — are facing extreme levels of hunger, with nearly 9 million at risk of famine as winter takes hold.

Afghanistan’s economic crisis accelerated after the Taliban seized power in August, as the former Western-backed government collapsed and the last US troops withdrew.

Last month, the United States formally exempted US and UN officials doing permitted business with the Taliban from US sanctions to try to maintain the flow of aid to Afghanistan as it sinks deeper into a humanitarian crisis. — Reuters