The Board of Afghan Fund, which controls Afghanistan’s frozen foreign reserves, approved two new co-chairs during this week’s virtual meeting, Shah Mehrabi, a board member, said Thursday.
Mehrabi said the meeting was held on Monday and that the fund was committed to safeguarding the country’s assets, which total $3.5 billion plus $128 million in interest, in order to enhance financial stability in Afghanistan.
In February 2022, US President Joe Biden announced the transfer of $3.5 billion of Afghanistan’s reserves frozen by Washington into the then-newly established Afghan Fund. The balance, of another $3.5 billion, is being held by the US and could be used to compensate victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The two co-chairs include Shah Mehrabi and former finance minister Anwarul Haq Ahadi.
The Afghan Fund money is held in a Swiss bank. Initially, it was said the money would be spent on covering Afghanistan’s electricity costs and other outstanding debt. However, the final decision in this regard has not yet been made.
The Taliban has meanwhile repeatedly called for the money to be released and returned to Afghanistan.
There are four members of the Afghanistan Trust Fund Board, including two Afghan economic experts. They are Anwar al-Haq Ahadi, former minister of trade; Shah Mohammad Mehrabi, the current chairman of the Central Bank Audit Committee; the United States Ambassador to Switzerland, and a representative of the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs.