Norway has urged World Bank’s Afghanistan Partners to Direct Funding to the UN

Norway’s Foreign Minister AnnikenHuitfeldt on Monday urged donors to a World Bank-managed fund for Afghanistan to agree to send $280 million to the World Food Programme and UNICEF.

The World Bank’s board of directors approved a transfer of $280 million to United Nations agencies from the $1.5 billion Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), which had been blocked since the Taliban took control of the Afghan government in August.

The move must be approved by the fund’s 31 donors. ARTF donors gathered last Friday and agreed to make a decision within one week.

Following the Taliban’s takeover of power, Afghanistan is dealing with a dramatic decline in international development aid, an economy and banking system on the verge of collapse, the COVID-19 pandemic, and severe drought.

UNDP anticipates that by mid-2022, poverty would have reached practically universal levels, affecting more than 90 percent of Afghanistan’s 39 million inhabitants.

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