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World Bank’s exclusive proposal to transfer $600 million from Afghanistan trust fund

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A participant stands near the World Bank logo at the 2018 International Monetary Fund-World Bank Annual Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo/File Photo

Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Bank management has approved a proposal that would reallocate $600 million of the more than $1 billion remaining in frozen trust funds for the benefit of a source familiar with the plan, a source familiar with the plan said. Afghan education, families and communities.

The World Bank board will discuss the proposal on March 1, with a final decision on disbursing money left to donors from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), which is administered by the bank, the sources said.

The funds will be disbursed by several UN agencies, including UNICEF and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, amid growing concerns about the collapse of Afghanistan’s economy, the sources said.

Trust fund donors in December approved a $280 million transfer from the trust fund to the World Food Programme and UNICEF to support nutrition and health in Afghanistan.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month urged the UN Security Council to release the remaining $1.2 billion from the fund to help the Afghan people through the winter.

The new funding will help support food security, health and education programs in Afghanistan mired in a severe economic and humanitarian crisis. The crisis accelerated in August as the West-backed government collapsed, the last U.S. and allied forces withdrew, and the Taliban took over the country.

After the Taliban seized power, the United States and other donors cut the financial aid that kept Afghanistan afloat during a 20-year war.

The United Nations has warned that nearly 23 million people – about 55 percent of the population – face extreme hunger, including nearly 9 million who are at risk of starvation as winter approaches in the impoverished country.

The United States announced last week that it intends to release half of the $7 billion in assets frozen by the Central Bank of Afghanistan on U.S. soil to help the Afghan people, while withholding the rest to potentially satisfy terrorism-related claims against the Taliban, the White House announced Friday. litigation. . .

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