Money bound for Afghanistan has been choked off by the International Monetary Fund as the West pushes to prevent financial resources from reaching the Taliban.
£268m was due to be sent to the country by the IMF on Monday. However, the organisation announced today it has suspended sending money to the country due to a “lack of clarity within the international community” over recognising the Afghan government.
The IMF has also blocked the country’s access to Special Drawing Rights, which provide a vital source of government-backed money for countries lacking reserves of stable currencies such as the dollar or the euro.
“As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community,” an IMF spokesperson said.
The news comes as the Biden administration confirmed the Afghan central bank’s $10bn of assets, mainly held at the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York, would be unavailable to the Taliban.
The governor of the Afghan central bank, Ajmal Ahmady, said the country is heavily dependent on shipments of dollars, which stopped recently, raising the threat of inflation rising as a result of the currency depreciating.