World Bank halts payment for projects in Afghanistan 10 days after Taliban takeover

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The World Bank says it has paused disbursements and funding for projects in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover.

On August 15, Taliban fighters invaded Kabul, and took over power after Ashraf Ghani, the Afghanistan president, fled.

The bank said it plans to monitor the current situation and consult “closely” with the international community.

“We are deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and the impact on the country’s development prospects, especially for women,” Marcela Sanchez-Bender, World Bank spokesperson, told CNN.

“We have paused disbursements in our operations in Afghanistan, and we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with our internal policies and procedures.

“We will continue to consult closely with the international community and development partners. Together with our partners, we are exploring ways we can remain engaged to preserve hard-won development gains and continue to support the people of Afghanistan.”

The World Bank has committed more than $5.3 billion for development projects in Afghanistan since 2002, a statement on its website reads.

The Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank, has raised $12.9 billion.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also blocked the Taliban from accessing its financial resources.

“As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community. 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 had said.

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