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U.S. Dispatches $80 Million in Cash to Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan Every Two Weeks, Despite Criticisms

22 January, 2024


 


Recently, the US State Department confirmed that it sends $80 million in cash to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, every fifteen days. This information was disclosed to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), despite the Taliban’s efforts to keep the receipt of these cash packages confidential since mid-2023.


 


According to a report released by SIGAR on Friday, the funds are dispatched based on the information given by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The cash is then deposited into a designated account of a private bank under the auspices of the United Nations, bypassing the Taliban-controlled central bank.


 


Critics argue that the Taliban’s role in fund allocation mirrors challenges seen in North Korea, as highlighted by Michael Rubin, a senior researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, who draws parallels between the situations in Afghanistan and North Korea, where independent institutional functioning, including banking, faces difficulties.


 


In July 2023, a source within the Taliban-controlled Central Bank of Afghanistan confirmed to Afghanistan International that humanitarian aid packages totaling $40 million were being sent to Kabul. However, the Taliban has chosen not to say a word in front of the media. The last public disclosure of the financial transactions by the Taliban Controlled Central Bank was on May 14, 2023.


 


The source emphasized that foreign organizations and aid groups continue to channel necessary funds into Afghanistan, emphasizing that there has been no change in this process.


 


In a separate report by SIGAR, millions of dollars have been transferred to Afghanistan in different payloads over the previous three months. Each cargo, averaging $80 million, was delivered to Kabul within two weeks, with the funds deposited in the UN’s account of private banks.


 


Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reported that 69% of Afghans lack access to sufficient resources for basic necessities. Afghanistan’s economy has contracted by 27% since 2020, and 7 out of 10 Afghans struggle to meet their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing.


 


The Taliban, however, asserts that the aid money delivered through the UN is spent on education, health, and development projects, and they evaluate the progress of aid organizations’ activities. Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, stated that the Islamic Emirate does not directly benefit from the provided money.


 


Despite the conflicting narratives, some economic analysts believe that the international community’s support for the Afghan people is crucial, as these monetary packages could contribute to fiscal stability and economic growth in the impoverished country. The humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan have deteriorated since the fall of the Afghan government and the resurgence of the Taliban in August 2021.


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Tags: #TalibanTransparency #FinancialSupport #EconomicImpact #TalibanFinance #AfghanistanHumanitarianCrisis #USCashToAfghanistan #AfghanistanEconomy #SIGARReport #GlobalAid #UNAidAfghanistan #AfghanistanCrisis #FiscalStability #USStateDeptNews #UNDPInsights #ForeignAid



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