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Senate Passes Afghan Women and Children Relief Bill

On November 15, the Senate, without debate, approved, by unanimous consent, a bill (S. 1573) to provide relief to Afghan women and children. Sponsored by Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the bill would authorize educational and health care assistance for women and children in Afghanistan and in refugee camps in neighboring countries. The bill would require that the assistance be provided in a way that “promotes the human rights of all people in Afghanistan, utilizing indigenous institutions and nongovernmental organizations, especially women’s organizations.”

Prior to adoption, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, an amendment by Sen. Hutchison that would require the Secretary of State to report to Congress on the activities carried out under the bill and on the condition and status of women and children in Afghanistan, as well as refugees living in camps outside Afghanistan. The amendment also would allow activities under the bill to be funded through the FY2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States (P.L. 107-38).

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