Thursday August 19, 2021

IMF Suspends Afghanistan’s Access To Funds

An IMF spokesperson said it was due to “lack of clarity within the international community” over recognising a government in Afghanistan.

Resources of over $370m (£268m) from the IMF had been set to arrive on 23 August.

These funds were part of a global IMF response to the economic crisis.

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.

It comes after an official from the Biden administration told a British media outlet 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 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.

Mr Ahmady added that Washington’s suspended shipments of physical dollars were causing Afghanistan’s currency to depreciate. The Afghan currency, the Afghani, has fallen to record lows.

“I believe local banks have told customers that they cannot return their dollars — because [Da Afghanistan Bank] has not supplied banks with dollars,” he tweeted.

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