China urges World Bank, IMF to resume financing support to Afghanistan - GulfToday

China urges World Bank, IMF to resume financing support to Afghanistan

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks to the media. File photo

Gulf Today Report

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday to resume financing support to cash-strapped Afghanistan for reconstruction.

Both institutions had suspended engagement with Myanmar after a military coup in February and with Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in August.


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The Taliban takeover in August saw billions of dollars in central bank assets frozen and international financial institutions suspend access to funds, although humanitarian aid has continued.

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The World Bank has suspended engagement with Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in August.

Banks are running out of money, civil servants have not been paid and food prices have soared. The IMF said on Tuesday that Afghanistan's economy was set to contract up to 30% this year, possibly fuelling a refugee crisis.

"Afghanistan is in need of revival on all fronts, and development is the top priority," said

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Wednesday that he has ordered a series of internal reviews of the State Department's planning and execution of the US evacuation of Afghanistan and the relocation efforts, operations that were widely criticized as chaotic.

The United States' two decades-long occupation of Afghanistan culminated in a hastily organised airlift in August in which more than 124,000 civilians including Americans, Afghans and others were evacuated as the Taliban took over. But thousands of other US-allied Afghans at risk of Taliban persecution were left behind.

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The IMF said on Tuesday that Afghanistan's economy was set to contract by up to 30% this year.

Chinese Foreign Minister, speaking via video-link to foreign ministers from Afghanistan's neighbours.

He renewed a call for the United States and other Western countries to lift unilateral sanctions on Afghanistan and for the World Health Organization to provide more vaccines and medical supplies to help Afghanistan fight COVID-19.

China has said it will send $30 million worth of emergency humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

China has always called for the international community to engage, rather than isolate, the Taliban.

"My overall impression is that the Taliban is eager to have dialogue and cooperation with the outside, and that they are serious about this," Wang said.

 

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