WHO Suspends Financial Support To Afghanistan

The World Health Organisation sai it has paused all reconstruction and development projects in Afghanistan in the wake of the takeover by the Taliban.

This is even as the IMF has withheld access to $440 million due to have been released this month, just as the Afghan Central Bank assets worth around $7 billion held in the US have been frozen.

Aside corporate entities, some individual countries such as Germany, Finland and Sweden have also withdrawn their programmes which were worth hundreds of billions of dollar.

According to the US government’s Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (Sigar), 80% of Afghanistan’s budget has come from foreign aid sources.

The EU said it is halting development assistance payments (ODA) but says it may increase humanitarian aid. It had committed $1.4bn in ODA funding to Afghanistan from 2021 to 2024.

On 19 Aug, the UK announced a substantial increase of UK funding to £286m in aid for 2020-2021. The government has not clarified how this support will be affected by the Taliban takeover.

At an international donor conference held in November last year, a total of $12bn was pledged over the next four years. It’s not clear how these pledges will be affected by the current crisis.

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