‘You cannot let this happen’: MSNBC host delivers powerful plea directly to Biden to stop a starvation crisis

‘You cannot let this happen’: MSNBC host delivers powerful plea directly to Biden to stop a starvation crisis
Chris Hayes, MSNBC screenshot

MSNBC host Chris Hayes delivered a powerful plea Monday night urging President Joe Biden to act swiftly to fight a worsening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Following the American withdrawal, the country has plunged into severe destitution. While the previous American-backed Afghanistan government benefited from foreign aid and U.S. financial support, the new regime established by the Taliban has largely been cut off and is drastically under-funded. These conditions have left tens of millions of people in Afghanistan near starvation.

Hayes quoted from a recent Washington Post story explaining the crisis:

The country’s new rulers, cut off from most international aid as well as Afghan government assets held in U.S. accounts, have scant resources to protect millions of vulnerable people against another harsh winter. Aid groups estimate that nearly 23 million Afghans, out of a total population of 39 million, already do not have enough to eat. Many also lack solid shelter and money to heat their homes at night, forcing them to choose between food and fuel, and creating additional potential for a full-fledged humanitarian disaster, aid officials said.

"There is little help from the Taliban government, and part of the reason for that is about 75 percent of the former government's budget was funded by foreign aid, which was essentially stopped when the Taliban took power," Hayes explained. "But there are things our government and President Biden could do right now to get money flowing into the country to hopefully help millions of Afghans. For example, the U.S. government could release the $9.4 billion of Afghan assets that were frozen last year. They could also ease the sanctions against the Taliban; they could encourage the international community to restart aid. Because right now, withholding aid from the Afghan government — which, as odious as it is, there's no question about that — produces zero positive geopolitical effect."

Biden may feel hesitant to show any sign of support for the Taliban out of fear that it will be used against him by his domestic political opponents. The chaotic and deadly military withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 was seen by many in the media as reflecting poorly on Biden's leadership, and critics will surely use any suggestion that the president is helping the Taliban as an opportunity to relitigate the issue. But it's hard to see how this could be a defensible excuse for letting millions endure extended deprivation and suffering.

“It is an indefensible moral scandal to consign tens of millions of people to freeze and starve to death this winter," Hayes concluded. "Mr. President, you cannot let this happen."

Watch the clip below:

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