The World Bank has halted funding for projects in Afghanistan after the country’s fall to Taliban control.
The Washington-based financial institution cited concerns over Afghanistan’s future development prospects in the wake of drastic leadership change, particularly for the nation’s women.
The halt on aid disbursements is set to continue while the bank assesses how the Taliban plan to rule the country.
“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,” a World Bank spokesperson told the BBC.
The World Bank has committed over $5.3bn (£3.9bn) for development projects in Afghanistan since 2002. It also administers the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund, for which it has raised $13bn.
On Friday, the World Bank told staff that its Kabul-based team and their immediate families had been safely evacuated to Pakistan.
The World Bank’s decision marks 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.
An IMF spokesperson cited a “lack of clarity within the international community over recognising Afghanistan’s new government” as its primary reason for the suspension.
Meanwhile, Biden’s administration has frozen the assets of Afghanistan’s central bank that are held in the US. Da Afghanistan Bank has reserves of roughly $9bn (£6.6bn), most of which is held in the US.