IMF stops £330m in aid from falling into hands of the Taliban

IMF stops £330m in aid from falling into hands of the Taliban following pressure from US Treasury

  • International Monetary Fund blocks £330million Afghanistan was due to receive
  • As a result of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban it has suspended access to its cash 
  • IMF suspended dealings with Myanmar after military seized power in February

The Taliban were last night blocked from getting their hands on more than £330million Afghanistan was due to receive from the International Monetary Fund next week.

Following pressure from the US Treasury, the IMF announced that, as a result of the fall of Kabul, it has suspended access to its cash, part of a fund to help poorer nations through the pandemic.

‘There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access… IMF resources,’ a spokesman said.

Following pressure from the US Treasury, the IMF announced that, as a result of the fall of Kabul, it has suspended access to its cash, part of a fund to help poorer nations through the pandemic

‘As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community.’

Afghan and US officials say most of the Afghan central bank’s £7billion assets are held outside the country and are thus likely to be out of reach of the Taliban.

On Monday the Fund is due to complete a £472 billion allocation of SDRs – the fund’s unit of exchange based on dollars, euros, yen, sterling and yuan – to its 190 member countries in proportion to their shareholding.

Aimed at bolstering the balance sheets of poorer countries that have been severely strained by the coronavirus pandemic. Afghanistan, based on its 0.07% quota shareholding, stood to receive about £330 million.

The Fund has traditionally relied on its membership to decide whether to engage with governments that take power in coups or disputed elections.

In 2019, the IMF suspended Venezuela’s SDR access after more than 50 member countries representing a majority of the Fund’s shareholding refused to recognize President Nicolas Maduro’s government following his disputed re-election.

The IMF also suspended dealings with Myanmar after the military seized power in a February coup.

Afghan and US officials say most of the Afghan central bank’s £7billion assets are held outside the country and are thus likely to be out of reach of the Taliban


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