IMF denies Taliban access to millions of dollars in financing in Afghanistan

The International Monetary Fund has said the Taliban, who now control Afghanistan, will not be able to access nearly half a billion dollars in reserve funds, under increasing pressure from the international community, including the Department of Afghanistan. US Treasury.

It comes as a new asset allocation, known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), is slated for August 23. It is estimated that $ 450 million of the $ 650 billion allocated has been allocated to Afghanistan.

“As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community. There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding the recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a result of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources, ”a spokesperson said. IMF said in a statement to CBS News.

The United States is the biggest contributor to the IMF. A treasury official said the department was taking steps to prevent the Taliban from accessing SDRs.

Taliban checkpoints are seen on the streets of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, August 18, 2021. / Credit: Stringer / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Taliban checkpoints are seen on the streets of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, August 18, 2021. / Credit: Stringer / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

On Tuesday, a group of 18 Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, urging her to intervene to ensure that SDRs are not made available to a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

“The potential of the SDR allocation to provide nearly half a billion dollars in unconditional liquidity to a regime which is used to supporting terrorist actions against the United States and its allies is of great concern,” said the letter.

SDRs are assets based on five currencies. Assets are not currencies, but IMF members can exchange them among themselves for usable currencies.

As the IMF prepares to prevent Afghanistan from accessing reserve funds, the Taliban will also not have access to the Central Bank assets that the Afghan government owns in the United States, according to an official in the United States. ‘administration.

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Afghanistan Ajmal Ahmady, who fled the country when the Taliban took control, tweeted that Afghanistan had about $ 9 billion in reserves last week, most of which are in treasury bills and gold.

The US Federal Reserve holds most of the Afghan assets, around $ 7 billion: $ 3.1 billion in US bills and bonds, $ 2.4 billion in WB RAMP assets, $ 1.2 billion in gold, and 0 , $ 3 billion in cash accounts. An additional $ 1.3 billion is in international accounts and $ 0.7 billion in the BIS, an international financial institution owned by central banks.

Ahmady, tweeted the location of the assets because, he said, “I have been told that the Taliban are asking ATM staff for the location of the assets.” He added: “If this is true, it is clear that they urgently need to add an economist to their team.”

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