Foundation meets to discuss frozen Afghan funds
Managers of a foundation set up to manage $3.5 billion (CHF3.34 billion) in frozen Afghanistan central bank funds are meeting for the first time in Geneva.
A Swiss government spokesperson confirmed the meeting to the Reuters news agency on Monday.
The foundation board must decide how and when to disburse the funds to meet the foundation’s purpose to “receive, protect, preserve and disburse assets for the benefit of the Afghan people”.
How a portion of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves ended up in Geneva
The trustees include Swiss foreign ministry official Alexandra Baumann, US Ambassador to Switzerland Scott Miller, former Afghan central bank chief Anwar Ahady and US academic Shah Mehrabi.
The genesis for the fund came in February, months after $7 billion of Afghanistan central bank funds were frozen by the United States treasury department, following the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden declared a national emergency over the “widespread humanitarian crisis” and economic turmoil in Afghanistan, which posed a threat to US security. A judge allowed half of the reserves ($3.5 billion) to be moved to a trust fund, which was set up in neutral Switzerland.
The other half of the frozen funds is subject to ongoing lawsuits filed by victims of the 9/11 attacks in the US and their relatives.
Aid agencies and the United Nations say that millions of Afghans are in need of urgent assistance after decades of war, followed by drought.
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