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‘Deeply concerned’: World Bank halts financial funding to Afghanistan after Taliban takeover

The Washington-based institution cited concerns over how the Taliban's takeover will impact "the country's development prospects, especially for women".

Deeply concerned: World Bank halts financial funding to Afghanistan after Taliban takeover-dnm
Washington D.C., First Published Aug 25, 2021, 10:24 AM IST

The World Bank has halted its financial aid for dozens of projects in Afghanistan, citing   questions over the legitimacy of Taliban rule.

It said it is "deeply concerned" by the situation there, particularly women's rights, after the Taliban took over the country.

This decision by the World Bank to suspend payments to Afghanistan is the latest financial blow to the country's new government.

The move comes just days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended payments to Afghanistan even President Joe Biden froze the assets of Afghanistan's central bank that are held in the US.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted a World Bank official saying, “We have paused disbursements in our operations in Afghanistan, and we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation. We are deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and the impact on the country’s development prospects, especially for women.”

So far, the World Bank is said to have provided funding of $5.3 billion to Afghanistan since 2002 through its International Development Association that helps the world’s poorest countries. Currently, it has more than two dozen development projects ongoing in the country.

Under its policies, the World Bank said it cannot disburse funds when there is no agreement by its 189 member countries on whether a country has a legitimate government.

The suspension follows the situation that worsened in the war-torn country after the US pulled out its troops and Taliban swiftly took over Afghanistan.

Also read: CIA director held secret meeting with Taliban leader Abdul Baradar in Kabul: Report

Nearly 10 days into the Taliban takeover, the country has been witnessing chaotic scenarios which have surmounted severe pressure on the nation's economy as thousands flocked to the airport to flee from the clutches of the Taliban while many nations rushed to evacuate their nationals from the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, since the Taliban took over, though they promised to grant some rights to women under strict Sharia law. They have been told to wear a burqa. Female employees were told to leave business premises, including radio stations.

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