The United States is seeking to help the Afghan economy to function through the resumption of regular commercial activities inside Afghanistan and with the injection of liquidity into the Afghan economy, senior US officials said.
A transcript of a teleconference with US "senior administrative officials" released by the White House on Saturday indicated that the Biden administration is focused on making sure the Afghan economy is functioning.
“Over the course of the last several months, one area of focus for the Biden administration has been ensuring that the Afghan people have access not only to humanitarian assistance but also to the ability to conduct regular commercial activity,” one of the officials said.
According to the officials, the new general license was issued to avoid the deepening of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and also to expand authorization for commercial and financial transactions in Afghanistan, including Afghanistan’s governing institutions.
On Friday, the US Treasury Department announced a general license aimed to facilitate commercial activities in Afghanistan. “Today’s action facilitates private companies and aid organizations working with Afghan governing institutions and paying customs, duties, fees, and taxes, including institutions that are headed by sanctioned individuals,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The officials said the new license shows the US commitment to the people of Afghanistan, stressing it will "ensure US sanctions do not stand in the way of transactions and activities needed to provide aid and support the basic human needs of the people of Afghanistan."
This is the seventh general license the US has announced so far. The officials said the license was announced "in full recognition of the challenging economic reality on the ground."
“Our goal here is to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that money is flowing to the Afghan people to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis that they face, but also to allow the commercial activity in Afghanistan to happen in order to build a (inaudible) cycle that will reinforce the livelihoods of the Afghan people,” one of the officials said.
According to the officials, the US Treasury Department and other US interagency partners are working with multilateral development banks, including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, to provide substantial economic assistance to the people of Afghanistan.