A senior board member of Afghanistan’s Central Bank has asked the United States Department of Treasury and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to let the Taliban have limited access to the country’s reserves to avoid an economic crisis in the country.
Quoted in an interview by Reuters, Shah Mahmoud Mehrabi, a former board member of the Central Bank, said Afghanistan's economy will collapse and more families with dive into poverty if the Taliban do not have limited access to the reserves.
Mehrabi said the US and IMF should allow the Taliban to have access to $100 million to $125 million of the reserves; otherwise, the country will sink into an economic crisis.
Afghanistan has over $9 billion reserves of which, according to Mehrabi, around $7 billion is in the United States.
The United States has frozen the reserves after the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, because the Taliban are still under US sanctions.
This, however, has had huge implications on Afghanistan’s economy as private banks are already crippling with paying people’s deposits and hundreds of development projects have been stopped.
The National Development Corporation, a state-owned company, says 700 development projects of the company have been stopped.
“Technically, we are fully ready to resume our activities. But some other issues exist, such as lack of access to money, which will take time to be resolved,” Ziaullah Shafiq, the deputy head of the National Development Corporation, said.
Sayed Massoud, an analyst, said that granting the Taliban access to the reserves will help in preventing Afghanistan’s economy from drowning in a crisis.
“This is a big issue, both financially and economically. Releasing the reserves will create confidence in the Taliban government and will also stop panic among the people,” Massoud said.
This comes as the UN has warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. According to a statement by the UN secretary general, 18 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian support to survive.