Kabul [Afghanistan], September 18 (ANI): Taliban on Thursday condemned the decision of the Biden administration to transfer the frozen Afghan funds into a Swiss-based trust and said that the US is violating international norms.
The statement of the Taliban comes as frozen funds are the organisation's last shot to stabilize the country's economy, according to Khaama Press.
The US government, on Wednesday, moved to establish a foundation for managing USD 3.5 billion in frozen Afghan funds and announced the formation of a foundation based in Switzerland that will be used to ease the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
"Pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14064, President Biden set a policy of enabling USD 3.5 billion of Afghan central bank reserves to be used for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan while keeping them out of the hands of the Taliban and other malign actors," said US Treasury department in a statement, adding that the funds will help provide greater stability to the Afghan economy, Khaama Press reported.
According to CNN, two senior US officials said, "The US is moving USD 3.5 billion to the new "Afghan Fund," but will not release the money imminently to an institution in Afghanistan because there is no trusted institution to guarantee the funds will benefit the Afghan people."
"Instead, it will be administered by an outside body, independent of the Taliban and the country's central bank," the officials added.
"The Fund may use assets to provide Afghan banking sector liquidity, keep Afghanistan current on its debt service obligations, support exchange rate stability, transfer funds, as appropriate to public Afghan financial institutions, or any other use for the benefit of the Afghan people that are approved by the Fund's Board of Trustees," said a US State Department official.
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order allowing for the USD 7 billion in frozen assets from Afghanistan's central bank to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan last August ended the nearly 20-year war, but the United Nations and other international relief groups say Afghanistan faces one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, which stems from more than four decades of conflict and natural calamities.
More than half of the country's poverty-stricken population, or an estimated 24 million Afghans, face an acute food shortage and some one million children under five years of age could die from hunger by the end of this year, according to UN estimates following the US withdrawal from the country. (ANI)