Did America just steal $7 BILLION from the poor people in Afghanistan?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : America Just Stole $7 Billion From Afghanistan!
Pro-China groups and supporters are actively claiming that America stole $7 billion from the poor people in Afghanistan, even while China donates food to them.
Here are a few example posts on social media.
Shut up stupid. China has donated free food to Afghanistan five times, and the United States has confiscated $7 billion from Afghanistan
In 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan in the name of counter-terrorism, and in 2021, it will withdraw from the country, plundering the Afghan people’s hard-earned money worth us $7 billion
Truth : America Did Not Steal 7 Billion Dollars From Afghanistan!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and/or propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : US Froze 7 Billion Dollars Worth Of Afghan Central Bank Assets
First, let us get this right – the US government did not steal US$7 billion from Afghanistan.
This false claim is based on an executive order by the Biden Administration to freeze approximately US$7 billion worth of US-based assets owned by Afghanistan’s central bank – Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB).
As part of our ongoing work to address the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan, President Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.) to help enable certain U.S.-based assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (“DAB”), to be used to benefit the Afghan people.
The E.O. will block property of DAB held in the United States by U.S. financial institutions and require U.S. financial institutions to transfer this property into a consolidated account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Fact #2 : America Did Not Take / Use The 7 Billion Dollars
The US Feds are holding onto those assets, so they are not actually being taken or used by the American government.
- US$3.5 billion will be allocated for “the benefit of the Afghan people”.
- Another US$3.5 billion will be held, as they are subject to “ongoing litigation by US victims of terrorism”.
In essence, the Biden Administration is blocking the Taliban government from using the assets to purchase what they don’t believe would be in “the benefit of the Afghan people”. Chief on their mind would be weapons, and financing of terrorist activities.
One may argue that the Taliban is the Afghan government of the day – as reprehensible as they may be, and therefore have the right to access all of that money.
That may well be true, but it does not mean that America stole money that belonged to Aghanistan. After all, they did not take or use it for their own purposes.
Fact #3 : America Contributed $130 Billion To Afghanistan
Since their 2001 invasion toppled the Taliban government, America has massively funded the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.
America spent at least $130 billion in funds for security, governance, development and humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.
The Afghan government was also highly dependent on aid, which contributed 40% of its GDP, and 75% of its public expenditure. Most of it came from the US government.
No doubt the US government felt that it at least has the right to dictate what the 7 billion dollars should be used for.
Fact #4 : America Continues To Contribute To Afghanistan
What most people are not aware is America has contributed, and continues to contribute, hundreds of millions of dollars to Afghanistan since the Taliban regained power.
On October 28, 2021, the US government announced more than $144 million in additional humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
Today, the United States announced more than $144 million in humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
This funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State brought total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $474 million in 2021 alone.
Then the US government announced more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan on January 11, 2022.
The new contribution from the United States will provide life-saving aid for the most vulnerable, to include women, girls, minority populations, and people with disabilities.
This assistance includes food and nutrition assistance; support for health care facilities and mobile health teams; winterization programs—including the provision of emergency cash grants, shelter kits, heaters, blankets, and warm clothing; and logistics and transportation support to ensure that aid workers and critical relief supplies can make it to the hardest to reach areas.
Fact #5 : Chinese Contribution To Afghanistan Is Paltry
China announced humanitarian aid worth 200 million yuan in September 2021. That is a paltry $31.4 million – just 4% of what the US has (so far) contributed in 2021 and 2022.
In fact, China is contributing far less than Japan, which has far less economic and geopolitical interest in Afghanistan. Even Sweden has pledged to donate almost twice as much as China.
As this table shows, the truth is quite different from what Chinese propaganda want you to believe.
|United States||$421 million|
|European Union||$277 million|
|United Kingdom||$113 million|
Fact #6 : China Seem More Interested In Publicity
Even though the Chinese pledged the aid in September 2021, they only managed to deliver five shipments of food, medical and humanitarian aid, up until 9 April 2022.
What you will notice though is that each delivery is accompanied by its own distribution ceremony for photo opportunities, and coverage in Chinese media outlets like CGTN, Xinhua, Global Times, etc.
From their constant publicity, you would think that the Chinese alone are supporting the entire Afghanistan on their mighty shoulders.
The truth is – China has always been miserly in its humanitarian aid, and the Chinese know it.
That’s why they often hype up their contribution, even shamelessly hyping up the sale of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines as a contribution to the world.
By casting aspersions on the United States, they deflect criticism for their lack of support of the Afghan people.
Now that you know the truth, please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this article with your family and friends!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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