U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Ed Schipul, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

Michael McCaul threatens to block US funding to Afghanistan

The Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul has threatened to block the US funding to Afghanistan until he gets assurances it is not going to the Taliban.

When asked about a recent SIGAR report that Biden Administration is providing $2.35 billion from US taxpayers to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, McCaul told Fox News Sunday,

“I’m prepared in my position to put a hold on this funding until we get assurances it is not going right into the hands of the Taliban.”

In a recent report to the US Congress, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) stated that the US remains Afghanistan’s largest donor, giving more than $2.35 billion in funding to the country since the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

The SIGAR report also indicated that the US remains a key donor to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) which has appealed $3.2 billion, with the US having donated $74.4 million thus far.

The SIGAR report warned that the Taliban have effectively infiltrated and influenced most UN-managed assistance programs by “pushing for ever-increasing degrees of credit and control over the delivery of aid.”

McCaul says assurance on the US funding is required to ensure that it goes to the right hands.

“The Taliban are repressing women. They can’t go out of their homes. They can’t get educated. Women can’t be hired by these NGOs, these charitable organizations in Afghanistan, and we are paying the money. The US taxpayers are funding this,” he asserted.

“We need some assurance that this is going to go to the right hands and it’s going to help the women in Afghanistan. If the Taliban can’t assure us of that, I think we need to be prepared to cut that funding off as a stick rather than giving them just a carrot.”