The U.S. government announced Wednesday that $3.5 billion seized from Afghanistan’s central bank would be placed in the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland as part of a relief fund for Afghanistan.
The Afghan Fund was created in order to prevent the Taliban-controlled Da Afghanistan Bank from accessing the money in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover.
A February executive order from President Biden stipulates that the funds should be used to ease the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
“The Afghan Fund will help mitigate the economic challenges facing Afghanistan while protecting and preserving $3.5 billion in reserves from Da Afghanistan Bank … Through this fund, the United States will work closely with our international partners to facilitate use of these assets to improve the lives of ordinary people in Afghanistan,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.
International funding to Afghanistan was suspended after the Taliban takeover. The U.S. will not allow Da Afghanistan Bank to access the funds; two of the bank’s governors are Taliban officials sanctioned by the U.S. government, according to Reuters.
“We have worked with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to make available more than $1 billion in assistance for basic services and other urgent needs, in addition to providing over $814 million in U.S. humanitarian aid directly to implementing partners to support the Afghan people while preventing funds from benefiting the Taliban,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said.