The board of the Swiss-based Afghan trust fund met for the first time on Monday in Geneva and discussed issues relevant to the $3.5 billion in the fund, a member of the Afghan Central Bank's supreme council, Shah Mehrabi, said.
According to Mehrabi, at the first meeting decisions were made in the following areas:
- Afghan co-chairmanship
- Establishment of an Afghan advisory committee
- Decisions regarding where to invest so the high rate of return can be obtained
- Hiring of an executive secretary
- Audit committee
- Development compliance controls
Mehrabi said that the Fund will “protect, preserve and make targeted disbursement of the 3.5 billion that belongs to Afghan people, to help benefit Afghan people, and promote price stability so that the people can afford to buy basic necessities of life.”
Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi, who is also a member of the trust fund board, said that the $3.5 billion in a foreign bank will benefit Afghanistan.
“Over the past several months, this trust fund earned around $36 million. Now we want to invest in financial products long-term such as three months, six months or one year long periods, so we can increase annual benefits,” Ahadi told TOLOnews.
An economist said that the use of the fund for investment and other purposes is not benefiting Afghanistan.
The Islamic Emirate said that the assets should be returned to Afghanistan and that it belongs to the people of this country.
“This money is the property of Afghans and the Afghans own it. Unfreezing part of this money conditionally is unacceptable for the people of Afghanistan and we want it to be transferred to Afghanistan as soon as possible,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, the Islamic Emirate’s spokesman.
A total of $9.5 billion of Afghanistan’s central bank foreign reserves were frozen after the Islamic Emirate swept into power. $7 billion of this fund was reserved in American banks and the rest in European banks.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden in an executive order split the fund into two parts that allowed half of the $7 billion to be used for humanitarian purposes in Afghanistan – while another half is being held for possible reimbursement in a judicial process started by 9/11 victims.