World Bank to resume three major projects in Afghanistan
The projects were halted after the Taliban ordered the temporary closure of girls schools across the country
By News Desk - April 20 2022

Afghanistan is in dire need of its national funds to cover the health and food requirements of its people. (Photo credit: AFP).

The World Bank will restart three major projects in Afghanistan worth $450 million in the areas of health, agriculture and livelihood, after funds were frozen in response to the closure of girls schools by Taliban authorities, according to Reuters.

However, Reuters also quoted anonymous sources saying that funding for Afghanistan’s education sector, one of the four most important projects, had not been started yet.

The decision comes amid a deepening economic crisis in the country, as well as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which caused a spike in the fuel and food prices.

The $600 million in aid programs were announced last month, and came after $280 million frozen Afghan funds were successfully disbursed through the World Food Programme and UNICEF.

On 30 March, the World Bank announced that it had put four of its Afghanistan projects on hold after the Taliban issued an order preventing girls from attending secondary schools.

The financial institution said the projects will be presented to ARTF donors, but will only be approved “when the World Bank and international partners have a better understanding of the situation and confidence that the goals of the projects can be met.”

As a result of the Taliban decision to close down schools for girls, the US also cancelled a round of talks with the organization that were set to take place in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Since the Taliban victory against the US-backed Afghan army last year, the country has faced a severe humanitarian crisis due to the US action of freezing nearly $10 billion in Afghan foreign reserves.

Meanwhile, 75 percent of Afghans do not get enough food and 58 percent do not have any shelter.

On 15 March, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ramiz Alakbarov revealed that at least 23 million people in Afghanistan have been severely affected by the current food crisis, forcing households to resort to “desperate measures” to put food on the table, and with 3.5 million minors in need of nutritional treatment.

According to the UN report, 95 percent of Afghans do not have proper access to food. The figure reaches nearly 100 percent in households headed by women.

Last week, the World Bank reported that the economic situation in Afghanistan had worsened and that per capita income in the country had dropped by 3 percent in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year.

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