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IMF Blocks Afghanistan’s Access to Emergency Reserves

The International Monetary Fund has suspended Afghanistan’s access to IMF resources, including around $440 million in new monetary reserves, due to a lack of clarity over the country’s government after the Taliban took control of Kabul, Reuters reported on Thursday. 

The IMF’s announcement came amid pressure from the US Treasury, which holds a controlling share in the Fund, to ensure that Afghanistan’s share of a Special Drawing Rights reserves allocation scheduled for Monday not fall into Taliban hands. 

“There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources,” an IMF spokesperson said in an emailed statement as quoted by Reuters. 

“As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” the spokesperson added. 

According to Reuters report, the Fund has traditionally relied on its membership to decide whether to engage with governments that take power in coups or disputed elections. 

Even if Afghanistan were to regain access to the SDRs, it would be unlikely the Taliban could spend those resources because that would require another country to be willing to exchange the SDRs for underlying currencies, a transaction that would likely be blocked by long-standing US financial sanctions against the Taliban, according to Reuters. 

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday it was too soon to determine whether the United States would recognize the Taliban as the legitimate governing power in Afghanistan, citing a “chaotic situation in Kabul.” 

IMF Blocks Afghanistan’s Access to Emergency Reserves

The IMF’s announcement came amid pressure from the US Treasury, which holds a controlling share in the Fund.

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The International Monetary Fund has suspended Afghanistan’s access to IMF resources, including around $440 million in new monetary reserves, due to a lack of clarity over the country’s government after the Taliban took control of Kabul, Reuters reported on Thursday. 

The IMF’s announcement came amid pressure from the US Treasury, which holds a controlling share in the Fund, to ensure that Afghanistan’s share of a Special Drawing Rights reserves allocation scheduled for Monday not fall into Taliban hands. 

“There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources,” an IMF spokesperson said in an emailed statement as quoted by Reuters. 

“As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” the spokesperson added. 

According to Reuters report, the Fund has traditionally relied on its membership to decide whether to engage with governments that take power in coups or disputed elections. 

Even if Afghanistan were to regain access to the SDRs, it would be unlikely the Taliban could spend those resources because that would require another country to be willing to exchange the SDRs for underlying currencies, a transaction that would likely be blocked by long-standing US financial sanctions against the Taliban, according to Reuters. 

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday it was too soon to determine whether the United States would recognize the Taliban as the legitimate governing power in Afghanistan, citing a “chaotic situation in Kabul.” 

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