Biden orders aid to Afghanistan and frozen Afghan funds split between victims of 9/11


President Joe Biden signed a presidential order from the central bank of Afghanistan on Friday to guide frozen assets to both address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country and compensate victims on September 11. did.

Funds were frozen and retained in the United States following the withdrawal of US troops in Kabul in August and the subsequent collapse of the government.

This order requires the US financial institution holding the funds to transfer the funds to a consolidated account held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

A total of $ 7 billion (consisting of donations from the United States and other countries to Afghanistan) will be split in half, of which $ 3.5 billion will be used for the benefit of the Afghan people. The remaining $ 3.5 billion remains in the U.S. for a pending judicial decision on whether U.S. 9/11 victims should be compensated by the Taliban, which has virtually ruled Afghanistan immediately after the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Will be.

There are still some differences that the first half of the money needs to occur across the US government to reach Afghanistan, senior government officials told reporters before the order was signed. This includes third parties that manage funds for their intended use.

The White House said in a statement that the order “is intended to provide a way for funds to reach the people of Afghanistan while keeping them out of the hands of the Taliban and malicious actors.” Stated.

The other half of the money goes to the trust fund that the Biden administration is still working on to establish. Then US citizens will seek a proceeding from the court that filed a claim against the Taliban to indemnify them from another $ 3.5 billion.

Mohammad Name, a Taliban political spokesman, has criticized the Biden administration for not releasing all its money to Afghanistan.

The Biden administration opposed criticism that all $ 7 billion should be sent to Afghanistan, arguing that plaintiffs in 9/11 had the right to spend their days in court.

“Some of this money can be used for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan, while respecting legal proceedings,” said a senior government official.

In addition to the $ 7 billion frozen in the United States, there is an additional $ 2 billion from the Afghanistan Central Bank, which was frozen primarily in Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.

UN officials have warned of the impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Nearly 80% of the previous administration’s budget came from the international community. The money has now ceased and has funded hospitals, schools, factories, and government ministries.

The United States has provided Afghanistan with more than $ 516 million in humanitarian aid since the end of more than 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Ciolino

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Nick Ciolino covers the White House.

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