US lawmakers urge Biden administration to unfreeze Afghan central bank reserves | World News - Hindustan Times
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US lawmakers urge Biden administration to unfreeze Afghan central bank reserves

ANI |
Dec 21, 2021 08:29 AM IST

In a letter to US President Joe Biden and Treasury Department, Democratic US House members said that they stand with American allies and humanitarian experts in urging the United States to avoid harsh economic measures that will directly harm Afghan families and children, Sputnik reported.

US lawmakers have urged the Biden administration to unfreeze Afghanistan's central bank reserves in the amount of $9.4 billion.

The US freeze of Afghanistan's reserves could lead to more deaths in 2022 than were lost in the last 20 years of the war in the country, the letter by lawmakers  said.(Reuters file photo)
The US freeze of Afghanistan's reserves could lead to more deaths in 2022 than were lost in the last 20 years of the war in the country, the letter by lawmakers  said.(Reuters file photo)

In a letter to US President Joe Biden and Treasury Department, Democratic US House members said that they stand with American allies and humanitarian experts in urging the United States to avoid harsh economic measures that will directly harm Afghan families and children, Sputnik reported.

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"[W]e stand with American allies and humanitarian experts in urging the United States to avoid harsh economic measures that will directly harm Afghan families and children," the lawmakers said in the letter on Monday. "This means conscientiously but urgently modifying current US policy regarding the freeze of Afghanistan's foreign reserves and ongoing sanctions."

The lawmakers said that Afghanistan's dwindling economy and humanitarian collapse threatens to trigger a new refugee crisis throughout the region. The United States' decision to freeze Afghanistan's central bank reserves is contributing to high inflation and the closing of commercial banks and vital private businesses, the lawmakers added.

The US freeze of Afghanistan's reserves could lead to more deaths in 2022 than were lost in the last 20 years of the war in the country, the letter said.

The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, on Monday said that Afghanistan's economy is in "free fall".

He was addressing the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad.

Since the takeover in mid-August by the Taliban (under UN sanctions over terrorist activities), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have suspended financial aid which previously accounted for nearly 75% of Afghanistan's public expenditure, while the United States froze billions of dollars in assets belonging to the Afghan Central Bank.

Addressing the OIC briefing, Afghanistan's acting foreign minister Amir Khan Motaqi urged the United States must unfreeze billions of dollars of Afghanistan as the country desperately needs cash. 

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