US President Joe Biden in an executive decree on Feb. 12 split the $7 billion Afghan assets into two parts, half of which went to the Afghan trust fund in Swiss and another half was reserved for 9/11 victims.
The decision sparked widespread reactions within and outside Afghanistan.
The Afghan trust fund created in September 2022 has four trustees, including two Afghan experts, one representative of the Swiss federal government and one representative from the US department of treasury.
“The Islamic calls it unjust to freeze Afghan assets, or to allocate it to other purposes as a compensation or to avoid spending it on humanitarian purposes,” said Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.
“The assets of Afghan central bank frozen by the US are the national property of Afghanistan and the life-saving money of Afghans. They should have been returned to Afghanistan in full amount at once, should have been handled independently by Afghanistan itself and should have been used to improve people’s livelihood and advance peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan without hindrance,” said Mao Ning, a former spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry.
Afghan citizens, private sector and political figures have also criticized the decision.
Some have even held protests in reaction to the freezing of the Afghan assets abroad.
“The people of Afghanistan are the victims of terrorism,” Karzai said.
The fund for the people of Afghanistan was established in September 2022 in Swiss.
Shah Mohammad Mehrabi, a member of the Supreme Council of the Da Afghanistan Bank, and former Minister of Finance, Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady are the two members from Afghanistan.
“The fund for Afghan people was established as an independent foundation that is sovereign in nature in September 2022.
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.”
After the establishment of the Afghan trust fund, the transaction of newly printed banknotes to Afghanistan had also happened.
The first batch of the Afghan banknotes arrived in Afghanistan in 2022.
“The last batch of banknotes printed by PWPW will be delivered in January 2023. The contractual obligation of Oberthur Fiduciaire is to deliver half of the printing Afghani banknotes in May 2023 and the reminder at the end of that year,” Mehrabi told TOLOnews then.
The international community has continued its aid as usual to Afghanistan but the scale of the aid has been reduced.
According to Da Afghanistan Bank, more than $1.7 billion has entered Afghanistan over the last year.
“SIGAR, for the first time in its history, is unable this quarter to provide to Congress and the American people with a full accounting of U.S. government programming due to the non-cooperation of US agencies,” the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said.
However, Afghan currency has remained stable against foreign currencies. Restrictions within the Afghan banking system were the main challenges for Afghan traders in 2022.