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Biden Admin Rejects Unfreezing Afghanistan’s Central Bank Assets

HeadlineAug 16, 2022

The Biden administration has ruled out releasing roughly $7 billion in foreign assets held by Afghanistan’s central bank on U.S. soil. That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports Biden’s decision not to return the funds came after he ordered the assassination of al-Qaeda’s leader in Kabul. This comes as the United Nations warns a staggering 95% of Afghans are not getting enough to eat, with that number rising to almost 100% in female-headed households. Earlier this year, Democracy Now! spoke with Masuda Sultan, Afghan American women’s rights activist. 

Masuda Sultan: “Human Rights Watch agrees with us. The head of the U.N. agrees with us. The head of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, agrees with us. You talk to just about every humanitarian organization, any economist, they will tell you that a central bank’s reserves belong in the central bank. … But instead, we have just decided that Afghanistan cannot have its central bank reserves, that that economy will now be crippled. We just knocked the legs out of it. And the humanitarian crisis will just grow and grow. Afghanistan will be an aid-dependent country.”

Masuda Sultan is a founding member of Unfreeze Afghanistan.

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