World Bank’s aid to Afghanistan halted as it expresses 'concern' over women

15:57, 25 August 2021
World Bank’s aid to Afghanistan halted as it expresses 'concern' over women Photo:

The World Bank announced that for the time being it will no longer send aid to Afghanistan, following similar claims from other international organizations after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan has been back under the Taliban’s control for well over a week now, as international organizations and even whole countries inform about their decisions to limit Afghanistan’s financial aid.

“We are deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and the impact on the country’s development prospects, especially for women,” the World Bank’s spokesman told CNBC.

“We have paused disbursements in our operations in Afghanistan and we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with our internal policies and procedures. As we do so, we will continue to consult closely with the international community and development partners,” he added.

To date, the World Bank’s overall aid for Afghanistan can be evaluated at around $5.3 billion.

Earlier, the United States froze Afghanistan’s Central Bank’s assets which account for over $9.5 billion in an attempt to not allow the Taliban to lay their hands on Afghanistan’s finances.

The European Union is generally following the same policy.

“The future development assistance has to be condition-based. It always is condition-based, linked to fundamental values, human rights, and of course women’s rights. And it is self-speaking that the development assistance of the future has also to be strictly condition-based,” the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters during a press conference.

However, the European Union also announced that despite temporarily halting aid, it will increase the humanitarian help to Afghanistan from €50 million to over €200 million. 

The money will help stem the humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding in Afghanistan and also aid neighboring countries like Iran and Pakistan in dealing with the refugee crisis.

Earlier the US and the UK announced that they will take in as much as 20,000 Afghans each, as the CEO of the online lodging marketplace Airbnb Brian Chesky announced that the company will provide temporary shelter for 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan.