Under the Lead Inspector General framework, the Inspectors General for the Department of Defense, Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development conduct oversight of and report on the overseas contingency operation "Operation Enduring Sentinel." This report also discusses the planned, ongoing, and completed oversight work conducted by the Lead IG agencies and our partner oversight agencies during the quarter.
Approximately 28.3 million Afghans—two-thirds of the total population—will need humanitarian assistance in 2023, more than double the amount reported in June 2020. Approximately 17 million Afghans face acute food insecurity or worse. The U.S. Government response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan focused on food security and nutrition, protection, health, shelter and settlements, and livelihoods and education. However, the Taliban’s ongoing restrictions on female employment has caused many NGOs, which rely on female staff, to pause operations.
During the quarter, the U.S. Government engaged with the Taliban to advocate for U.S. interests, including the safety of Americans in Afghanistan, ongoing relocation of certain Afghans, economic issues, and the Taliban’s counterterrorism commitments. The U.S. Government also clarified its expectations about the delivery of humanitarian aid and respect for human rights, especially those of women and girls. On February 1, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken imposed additional visa restrictions on certain current and former Taliban members and others responsible for new policies restricting women’s rights. On February 20, the United States and other countries issued a statement that the Taliban’s prohibition on women working for NGOs inhibited the provision of humanitarian assistance. This quarter, Afghan women and girls resisted the Taliban’s prohibition on education by attending classes in underground “secret schools” and by, in at least one case, publicly protesting the limitation on girls’ education past the sixth grade.