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Biden signs release of Afghan reserves

Washington D.C., Feb 11 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden on Friday signed an executive order to split $7 billion of frozen Afghan reserves between victims of the 9/11 attacks and humanitarian aid to the impoverished country.

The funds were held in the US Federal Reserve after the Taliban swooped to power in Afghanistan in August last year following the rapid withdrawal of US troops and the flight of the former Afghan government.

Biden’s executive order to release the funds sparks a long process that will see $3.5 billion dollars allocated to American victims of terrorism, including relatives of the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the other half handed to Afghan people as aid.

The United Nations, along with a slew of humanitarian organizations, have pressured governments to unblock Afghan funds that were frozen to prevent the Taliban from accessing reserves after taking over the Afghan central bank.

The deposed Afghan government sent $9 billion abroad before the Taliban took power.

On top of the $7 billion held at the Fed, the rest is spread between Switzerland, Germany and the United Arab Emirates, a US civil servant told reporters.

American troops completed their withdrawal in late August last year, bringing an end to 20 years of war, the largest in US history. EFE


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