Taliban Asks US to Unfreeze Afghan Government Assets to Respond to Earthquake


At 02:24 local time on June 22nd, a magnitude 6.2 quake struck near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan at a depth of 10 kilometers (about 6 miles), leaving at least 1,150 people dead and over 1,500 others injured. Local state-run media sources reported that over 10,000 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed, and thousands are left without power, shelter, or food. Over a dozen deaths were also reported from neighboring Pakistan.  

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The Taliban-run government of Afghanistan has renewed its request for the United States of America to release assets originally belonging to the former Afghan government frozen in American banks to respond to the nation's deadliest earthquake in about 2 decades.  

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Following the Taliban's rise to power in mid-August, 2021, United States President Joe Biden's administration froze about 9.5 billion US dollars of Afghanistan Central Bank reserves held in American banks, but released 7 billion of the funds in February 2022 to be used for humanitarian relief and payment to families of victims of the September 11th, 2021 attacks. The move left about 2.5 billion US dollars that the Taliban government could not access. As of now, the Taliban-run government of Afghanistan has not yet been recognized by any member states of the United Nations.  

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Many international aid groups left Afghanistan after the Taliban rose to power, and local media reports suggest that those that remained in the nation are currently struggling to provide food, water, medicine, and other necessities to the quake-struck region. Currently, several nations including Germany and Norway announced that they will send aid for the victims of the quake, but stated that they would not work directly with the Taliban, but will instead only work through United Nations agencies. Meanwhile, Iran, Pakistan, and Qatar have sent food and supplies to Afghanistan.  

Note: All images used in this article were retrieved from the public domain, and may be used for any purpose, including commercially, without citation or other attribution. 

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AverageVancouverite
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World International News Group
World International News Group

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