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International Monetary Fund blocks Afghanistan's access to funds IMF|Afghanistan

International Monetary Fund blocks Afghanistan's access to funds

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 20 Aug 2021, 02:51 pm

Washington DC, August 20: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stopped funds to Afghanistan after the insurgent group Taliban took over the country following large scale violence and killings.

The funding has been stopped due to "lack of clarity within the international community" over recognising a government in Afghanistan, an IMF spokesperson said, according to BBC.

As part of a global IMF response to the economic crisis, Afghanistan was going to receive over $370m from the IMF on August 23.

Access to the IMF's reserves in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) assets, which can be converted to government-backed money, have also been blocked, stated a BBC report.

SDRs are the IMF's unit of exchange based on sterling, dollars, euros, yen and yuan.

"As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community," the spokesperson added.

Further, the Biden administration told the BBC that any central bank assets the Afghan government has in the US will not be made available to the Taliban.

In a letter to the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Congress members have sought assurances that the US would not provide any sort of aid to the Taliban regime.

"The potential of the SDR allocation to provide nearly half a billion dollars in unconditional liquidity to a regime with a history of supporting terrorist actions against the United States and her allies is extremely concerning," 17 signatories wrote.

Earlier, Afghanistan's central bank's acting governor Ajmal Amady had tweeted that the US had cut off access to its assets - around $7bn of which are held at the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Ahmady, who fled the country on Sunday as Kabul fell to Taliban, tweeted that Da Afghanistan Bank's total reserves were approximately $9bn as of last week.

However, he said in accordance with international standards, most of the assets were held in safe, liquid assets such as US Treasury bonds and gold offshore.

"Given that the Taliban are still on international sanction lists, it is expected (confirmed?) that such assets will be frozen and not accessible to Taliban," Mr Ahmady tweeted.

"We can say the accessible funds to the Taliban are perhaps 0.1-0.2% of Afghanistan's total international reserves. Not much."