As the banking crisis deepens in Afghanistan, some senior officials from the previous administration at a meeting on Monday asked immediate attention by the US government and the Taliban to make sure Afghan reserves are unfrozen as a short-term solution to the current crisis in the country.
Addressing a virtual meeting, the officials said the US should think about short-term solutions for the current crisis in Afghanistan that happened after the sudden fall of the former government led by Ashraf Ghani in mid-August.
The meeting was hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies where former Afghan officials, as well as US officials and private banks representatives, discussed solutions to the ongoing banking crisis in Afghanistan.
Late last month, the US government, in addition to halting cash shipments, frozen Afghan assets.
As a short-term solution for stabilizing afghani in local markets, former Central Bank governor Wahidullah Nosher suggested that the new pledge of over $1.1 billion by the international community should be channeled to the country through Afghan banks.
Donors have pledged more than $1.1 billion to help Afghanistan, where poverty and hunger have spiraled since the Taliban took power, and foreign aid has dried up.
“The reserves at the Central Bank are used for three goals: liquidity, providing cash immunity, and for gaining income," Nosher said. "The last part is not important for us, but the two others are the key goals."
Analysts said the banking problems have heavily affected the country's economy and that it requires urgent attention.
Other participants of the event warned that the ongoing crisis might endanger the gains of the last 20 years in the banking sector.
“The reserves are important for banking and business in the country. Investors' bank accounts have been frozen while they need access to their accounts,” said Sayed Mobin Shah, the former deputy minister of finance.
Experts said Afghan private banks could not resume operations unless they receive around $2 billion in assets from the Central Bank and foreign banks.
The participants said there is a need for a clear decision on Afghan banks to ensure normalcy in their activities.