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West says Afghanistan to get new bank notes, maps out Afghan Fund
From ariananews.af
24-10-2022 - Thomas West, US Special Representative for Afghanistan, said Friday that new printed bank notes would soon enter the market in the country, replacing AFN notes that are disintegrating.
Addressing a virtual townhall organized by a US-based Afghan diaspora group, Afghans for a Better Tomorrow, West said: “We all know the banking sector in Afghanistan is cut off from the international financial system, by and large, with the exception of one private bank.
“But there are some transactions that the ministry of finance technocrats and the central bank technocrats want to responsibly move forward with and are unable to do so unless the United States and a number of other countries in a corresponding banking chain really lean in and help to conclude.
“So I am very pleased to say that in the past 24 hours we have finally seen the conclusion of two currency transactions.
“This will mean that new printed Afghani will replace bank notes that … are virtually disintegrating in the system,” he said.
He said he did not know when exactly the new bank notes would “show up in Afghanistan” but added the US would continue to support “priority transactions”.
Discussing the new Afghan Fund, which relates to the transfer of at least $3.5 billion of Afghanistan’s frozen foreign reserves, West said the first board of trustees meeting is likely to take place next month in Switzerland.
He said the basic governance structure is now in place but that this “will evolve”. He noted that four trustees would be the ones making big decisions on the disbursement of funds.
Both the US and the Swiss government will have a representative and the other two trustees are former finance minister Dr Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi and US college professor Dr Shah Mirabi – both of whom live in the United States.
West said Mirabi has served in an advisory capacity to Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) over the past 20 years, while Ahadi had also held the position of central bank governor and was a former commerce minister.
“These are two people we feel are exceedingly well qualified to help make responsible decisions about very limited disbursements of this money to enhance macroeconomic stability in Afghanistan,” West said.
However, there will be an additional advisory body, also made up of Afghans, who will be able to initiate their own ideas about how this money should be protected, preserved, and spent “in limited quantities”, he said.
West went on to say the majority of the $3.5 billion will remain “untouched”.
“It will be preserved for a future recapitalization of the Central Bank and of the financial system in Afghanistan.”

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