IMF stops payment over Afghan bank crisis

A senior adviser to Afghanistan’s finance minister says the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has withheld an expected USD 70 million reconstruction payment because of concerns over the near-collapse of the nation’s largest private bank.

Najib Mamalai Ajid told The Associated Press today that the IMF denial was “a problem for the government.” The money had been scheduled to come into the country through the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund run by the World Bank.

Kabul Bank, the nation’s largest private financial institution, has been in turmoil since revelations emerged that its shareholders lent themselves millions to invest in luxurious mansions and risky prestige projects.

The scandal has stalled a large chunk of donor funding to Afghanistan as allies wait until they are confident the government has fixed the financial crisis.


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