The United States, as well as the Taliban authorities, is contributing to the suffering of women in Afghanistan through assets freezes, UN independent experts said on April 25.

The freezing of 7 billion U.S. dollars in Afghan assets in the United States, as well as the international financial sanctions imposed on the Taliban, have worsened the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the experts warned.

“While gender-based violence has been a long-standing and severe threat to women and girls, it has been exacerbated by the measures imposed by the U.S., together with the drought and widening gender-based discrimination adopted by the de facto authorities,” the experts said in a statement released Monday.   

The experts called on the US Government to take into serious consideration the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and “to re-assess its decision to block the Da Afghanistan Bank’s foreign assets.”

The U.S. government strongly reacted to a statement made the UN independent experts. 

The Voice of America (VoA) says a U.S. State Department spokesperson called the statement inaccurate and misrepresenting.

“The statement by independent experts who advise the U.N. Human Rights Council but are not U.N. staff contradicts members of the U.N. leadership who have publicly welcomed the February 11 executive order, understanding that it is part of an effort to protect and facilitate access to $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets for the benefit of the Afghan people,” the spokesperson told VoA.