In The Midst of the humanitarian disaster triggered by the Biden administration’s decision to seize Afghanistan’s $7 billion in banking reserves, an unlikely coalition of family members of 9/11 victims, Afghan diaspora organizations, and diplomats appointed by the former Afghan government are calling for the U.S. government to take urgent steps to help the Afghan economy. Meanwhile, the largest beneficiaries of President Joe Biden’s action are likely to be lawyers rather than 9/11 victims.
Releasing some of the funds to the Afghan central bank, those calling on the administration argue, would be a means of mitigating the catastrophe now playing out. Though billions of Afghan reserves are now earmarked for the potential benefit of a group of 9/11 victim families who had previously filed lawsuits against the Taliban, other families say that confiscating the savings of ordinary Afghans would be an inappropriate way of obtaining justice for their loved ones.
In an executive order issued in February, Biden ordered half of Afghanistan’s $7 billion in banking reserves to be set aside for some future undetermined use on behalf of the Afghan people, while ordering the other half to be used to settle lawsuits previously leveled by victims of 9/11 against the Taliban. The confiscation of these funds has meant that ordinary Afghans, already reeling from the collapse of the former government, are now facing a liquidity shock that has left many unable to withdraw cash or perform even basic financial transactions.
The impact of all this has devastated the country, already one of the poorest on Earth. The United Nations now estimates that roughly half of Afghans are currently facing acute hunger. Afghanistan’s fledgling middle class, many of whom were reliant on salaries tied to foreign aid agencies to survive, is being driven into dire poverty. A report compiled by a group of aid agencies estimates that as many as 120,000 Afghan children may have been married off to suitors for financial reasons by families desperate to survive.

Source: theintercept

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.