Taliban ask the US to listen to the UN and release Afghan funds

The main spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, at a press conference in Kabul. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP) / ìThe erroneous mention [s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by WAKIL KOHSAR has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Removing the month August from caption]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention [s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.î

The Taliban called on the United States on Friday to respond "positively" to UN Secretary-General António Guterres' call and unblock the Afghan funds they have held since the Islamists seized power in August.

On Thursday, Guterres asked the United States and the World Bank to make these funds available since, otherwise, "the nightmare that Afghanistan lives", where famine punishes more than half of the population, will continue to increase, according to AFP review.

"The United States must respond positively to the international call and unlock Afghan funds," Afghan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter on Friday.

The United States has frozen some 9.500 billion dollars of Afghan Central Bank reserves, that is, half of the country's GDP in 2020.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank also suspended their activities in Afghanistan and withheld aid.

Last month, the World Bank raised 280 million dollars in a dedicated fund for Afghanistan to be transferred to Unicef ​​and the World Food Program operating in the country, Guterres recalled.

The Afghan economy was kept afloat thanks to international aid, which represented 80% of its national budget. Since the Taliban seized power, finances have collapsed.

In recent months, yes, there were funds that ended up being released, but "we have to do even more to quickly inject liquidity into the economy and avoid a collapse that would lead to poverty and hunger for millions of people," Guterres said.

Until now, the United States has turned a deaf ear to these requests from the Islamists, although hunger in Afghanistan, according to the UN, threatens 23 million people, that is, 55% of its population.

The UN announced Tuesday that it needed $ 4.400 billion in donations to fund Afghanistan's humanitarian needs in 2022.



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