Open letter to President Biden:

In Afghanistan, 23 million people are at risk of starvation. The rate of those living in poverty is expected to rise from over 50% to 97%. While drought has ruined Afghanistan’s wheat crop and driven up food prices overall, the U.S. has frozen Afghanistan’s assets, mostly held in the U.S.

Our withholding direct aid will not move the Taliban toward justice or compassion. Instead, we are inflicting maximum — and fatal — misery on people held hostage in their own land.

I urge you to release Afghanistan’s assets conditionally, with a clearly spelled-out plan to pay for food and other humanitarian assistance.

We’ve done enough harm in this distant country. As a fellow Catholic, I urge you to act in the cause of justice and global fraternity. Show the Taliban how it’s done.

Mary Sharon Moore