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Saturday, September 18, 2021

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) block Afghanistan’s access to lender’s resources

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Following Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan on Sunday. According to an IMF spokesperson, it was due to “lack of clarity within the international community” over recognising a government in Afghanistan. Resources of over $370m from IMF was set to arrive on Monday 23 August.

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

Congress members in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, called for assurances that the Taliban would receive no US-backed aid. “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.

The head of Afghanistan’s central bank said the US has cut off access to $7billion worth of assets held at the U.S. Federal Reserve. Ajmal Ahmady, who fled the country at the weekend, tweeted that Da Afghanistan Bank’s total reserves were approximately $9bn as of last week. “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.”

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