As the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan continues to worsen, international banks can now transfer monetary aid to the Taliban-ruled nation for humanitarian purposes. The United States has announced that aid groups can pay teachers and health workers in public institutions without any threat of flouting Taliban sanctions. The US Treasury Department has provided instructions on how to ease sanctions imposed on the Islamic fundamentalist group in September and December for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
According to the US Treasury Department, banks can handle humanitarian transactions, including clearing, settlement and transfers through or involving private and public Afghan depository institutions. It also outlines authorized transactions involving the Taliban, including the blacklisted Haqqani network.
The Treasury Department offered guidance on sanctions waivers issued last year in September and December for humanitarian work in Afghanistan, where, according to the United Nations, more than half of the country’s 39 million people face to severe hunger and economic crises. Even UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently warned that Afghanistan is “hanging by a thread”.
Humanitarian organizations authorized to send money
According to the Treasury Department. Humanitarian organizations are also allowed to send money to Afghanistan for humanitarian activities, as well as make direct payments to health personnel.
The Afghan economy has long been dependent on international aid and investment, especially after the Taliban took power. The Treasury Department reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Afghan people and seeking solutions to minimize humanitarian problems on the ground while preventing money from flowing into criminal operations. The Treasury has held several meetings with NGOs and financial institutions at all levels since August to gather views and provide technical assistance on Afghanistan, according to the Treasury’s official website.
Billions of dollars in Central Bank of Afghanistan reserves have been blocked
In August last year, the Taliban overthrew the internationally-backed Afghan government. Therefore, to prevent the money from falling into the hands of the Taliban, billions of dollars in Afghan central bank reserves and international development contributions were blocked. Since then, the country has been facing a humanitarian crisis.