WASHINGTON, TGO: The World Bank’s executive board on Tuesday approved a plan to use more than $1 billion from Afghanistan’s frozen trust fund to fund education, agriculture, healthcare programs economic and family needs, the bank announced.
The plan, which would bypass the sanctioned Taliban government by disbursing the money through UN agencies and international aid groups, would provide a major boost to efforts to appease the country. the country’s growing economic and humanitarian crises.
The approach “aims to support the delivery of essential basic services, protect vulnerable Afghans, help preserve human capital and vital economic and social services, and reduce the need for future humanitarian assistance,” the bank said in a statement.
The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) was frozen in August when the Taliban took over the island of Kabul as the last US-led international army left after 20 years of war.
Foreign governments have ended financial aid that accounts for more than 70% of government spending while the United States leads the way in freezing about $9 billion in Afghanistan’s central bank funds.
The funding cuts have accelerated an economic downturn, fueled a cash crunch and deepened a humanitarian crisis that the United Nations says has pushed more than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million people into poverty. the brink of famine.
As a first step, the ARTF sponsors will decide on four projects worth around $600 million that will support “urgent needs in the fields of education, health and agriculture,” the World Bank statement said. industry, as well as community livelihoods”.
The statement continued “with a strong focus on ensuring that girls and women participate in and benefit from support”.
The Taliban have shed light on women’s rights over the past two decades, including restricting them from working and restricting their movement unless accompanied by a male relative.
Most girls have been banned from school after seventh grade since the Taliban took over. Islamic extremists say all female students will be allowed to return to class by the end of this month.