The U.K. Department for International Development said Wednesday (March 9) that it plans to defer the payment of 85 million pounds ($137.5 million) in aid to Afghanistan this financial year due to the continued absence of an International Monetary Fund support program.
The DfID funding was meant to be channeled through the World Bank-managed Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund.
For the U.K. aid agency, the IMF program provides “an indicator of sound economic and financial management, and ensures that sufficient steps are taken to safeguard public funds, including aid,” DfID noted in a statement given to Reuters.
DfID, however, assured that other U.K.-backed aid projects in Afghanistan would continue.
IMF and Afghanistan are trying to resolve the crisis involving Kabul Bank, a commercial bank used by the Afghan government to pay military and security forces. Last month, the fund said it wants to put the troubled bank into receivership and then sold off. Despite issues on the management of Kabul Bank, IMF said it would remain committed to continue negotiations with Afghanistan on possible economic aid.
>> Despite Tough Stance on Kabul Bank, IMF Maintains Talks with Afghanistan on Future Aid
In the statement, DfID called on IMF and Afghanistan to “agree a way forward as soon as possible.”
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