UN chief expresses concern over absence of cash in Afghanistan

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres has again expressed concern over the absence of cash in Afghanistan and urged the international community to create conditions so that cash is injected into the economy.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday, Guterres said that the absence of cash and liquidity in the country’s economy could lead to the collapse of Afghanistan, which will have devastating consequences for the Afghan people.

“We have decided since the very beginning to engage actively with the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) and we have a massive humanitarian operation in Afghanistan, but we recognize that humanitarian aid is not enough,” said Guterres.

He said the UN has done much by itself to ward off the crisis by bringing in banknotes by plane into Afghanistan, which has so far amounted to $500 million.

Guterres also said the UN is working with the World Bank to disburse cash and that they are working with Afghanistan’s Central Bank and the United States’ Treasury in order to secure the release of frozen assets.

“We believe naturally that we need to do everything for the good of the people in Afghanistan, but we are also engaging with the Taliban (IEA) very seriously in relation to the inclusivity of government and inclusivity between men and women, but also inclusivity in order for Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazaras, as it was said, to be fully included in the political process in Afghanistan,” Guterres added.

He said he hoped Afghanistan would not become a base for terrorists and that the ban on secondary schools for girls should be lifted soon.