Petition: Release Afghanistan’s Frozen Funds

© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

While Afghans are starving, more than $9 billion of the country’s reserve funds remain frozen in banks in the US and Europe. This is outrageous. We call on President Biden, Chancellor Scholz, Prime Ministers Draghi and Johnson immediately to unfreeze Afghan funds held in banks in their countries.

The frozen funds belong to the Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s Central Bank. These are essential to the normal running of the Afghan economy. Without access to these funds, the banking system has collapsed, workers cannot receive their salaries and companies cannot be paid for their goods. Add your name to this petition to help Afghans who are facing unprecedented levels of hardship during a fierce winter.

On 11 February, President Biden issued an Executive Order taking control of the $7 billion of Afghanistan’s reserves held in US banks; half this amount is already tied up in legal proceedings concerning claims for compensation made by victims of the 9/11 attacks. The people of Afghanistan played no part in those attacks. The US government has spent over $2 trillion on its intervention in Afghanistan since 2001. It certainly has adequate resources to compensate the families of 9/11 victims – which we support – without punishing the people of Afghanistan.

Sign the urgent appeal to call on President Biden and European leaders immediately to unblock all the frozen funds.

We ask President Biden to revoke his Executive Order of 11 February and, as a first step, to authorize the release of US$150 million monthly to Afghanistan’s Central Bank, so that it can fulfil its essential role in creating liquidity in the economy. These releases can be monitored by international auditors with an option to terminate in the event of interference by the Taliban de facto  authorities in the independent running of the Central Bank.

United Against Inhumanity  (UAI) is an international movement of individuals and civil society organisations outraged about the harm and suffering that war-affected communities are made to endure and erosion of the global asylum regime. Through mobilising our collective commitment and efforts, UAI challenges the inhumanity that destroys lives and tears apart societies.