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To arrange a media interview with Ellie Smeal or other spokespersons at Feminist Majority Foundation, contact the FMF media department at 703-522-2214.

 

Date: May-17-01
Contact: Julie Bernstein
Phone: 703-522-2214
Email:

US to Provide $43 Million in Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan

Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds Funding But Urges More is Needed

We are thrilled that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell today announced $43 million in aid to Afghanistan, and we hope this is just the beginning of additional humanitarian assistance, said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. For months, the Feminist Majority Foundation has been urging the increase of humanitarian assistance to Afghans, especially women and children, who are in peril for their lives.

One million people are at risk of famine in Afghanistan and millions more are in the most desperate poverty imaginable, according to the United Nations. The Talibans barbaric rule, the most severe drought in decades, sub-zero temperatures this past winter, military incursions which have displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and a lack of humanitarian aid have created a catastrophy in Afghanistan. As many as 800,000 internal refugees seek relief within Afghanistan; hundreds of thousands have crossed the border to neighboring Pakistan in search of relief, only to find death and starvation in refugee camps.

We hope this desperately needed food and assistance is just the beginning of an international effort to help the million Afghan refugees, primarily women and children, who have fled their homes to escape the brutal rule of the Taliban regime, added Smeal. We are working with members of Congress to introduce legislation to increase aid to Afghanistan and are hopeful of bipartisan support.

The Feminist Majority Foundations Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan has led the effort to increase funding to Afghanistan, galvanizing an effective grassroots campaign urging the U.S. to provide emergency humanitarian assistance.

Over 190 women's and human rights organizations join The Feminist Majority Foundations Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan in imploring the United States and the United Nations to do everything in its power to help restore the rights of Afghan women and girls. The Campaign, chaired by Mavis Leno, continues to press the United States government to deny the Taliban recognition until the rights of women and girls are fully and permanently restored, to increase humanitarian assistance directed to Afghan women and children, and to increase refugee admission of women and girls fleeing the brutal gender apartheid regime.

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