WASHINGTON: The United States has announced $144 million in humanitarian aid for the people of war-torn Afghanistan. “The United States is providing nearly $144 million in new humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement. “This brings total US humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $474 million in 2021, the largest amount of assistance from any nation,” she added. The spokesperson explained that the aid will flow through independent humanitarian organizations. It will provide support to more than 18.4 million vulnerable Afghans in the region, including Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries. “Our partners provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihoods support, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the impending winter,” she pointed out. Earlier, Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres called on the international community. He asked them to donate to maximum limits for the impoverished people in Afghanistan ahead of winter advent in the war-stricken country. In his post titled ‘Afghanistan on ‘countdown to catastrophe’ without urgent humanitarian relief’, the United Nations incumbent chief urges the world to help UN in the race against time to deliver life-saving aid and pre-position supplies ahead of winter.