According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its engagement with Afghanistan will be suspended until the international community recognizes the Taliban-led government. The organization expressed deep concern over the economic conditions in Afghanistan and urged the international community to take urgent steps to prevent a ‘looming humanitarian crisis’.
IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice told reporters at a news conference, ‘Our engagement with Afghanistan has been suspended until there is clarity within the international community regarding the recognition of the government. We’re guided by the international community in terms of the recognition of the government in Afghanistan and we don’t have that. So, the IMF program there has been suspended; and, again, as we stated last month, the country cannot access IMF resources, SDRs, and so on at this point’.
The country had already been suffering from chronic poverty and drought, but since the Taliban took power, the situation has deteriorated further, as aid has been disrupted, tens of thousands of people have left, including government officials and aid workers, and much economic activity has collapsed. Aid to Afghanistan has been suspended by foreign donors. The government has also blocked normal bank transfers to Afghanistan.
The IMF’s Rice, however, indicated it is ready to engage in advocacy with the international community in order to stop a humanitarian crisis. The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the difficult economic situation in Afghanistan concern the IMF deeply. According to him, the immediate focus should be on the humanitarian crisis, providing aid to the Afghan people, allowing remittances and small-scale transfers, and providing assistance to countries hosting Afghan refugees.