Afghanistan's financial system is about to collapse, lender warns, as the US keeps nearly $10 billion in reserves frozen from the Taliban

After the US pulled out all its troops from Afghanistan, members of the Taliban were seen on September 6, 2006. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images
According to one of the country's top lenders, the financial system of Afghanistan is currently in "existential crisis".

According to him, people only withdraw money from banks and most of them aren't functioning.

After the Taliban takeover, the US frozen nearly $10 billion in Afghan central bank reserves.

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According to one of Afghanistan's largest lenders, Afghanistan's banking system could collapse.

Syed Moosa Kaleem Al-Falahi Al-Falahi, chief executive of Islamic Bank of Afghanistan, stated to the BBC that Afghanistan's banking industry was facing an "existential crisis." According to him, customers panicked after the Taliban overtook the country last month. Western countries and agencies had frozen the country's funds as a result.

He stated that there were "huge withdrawals" at the moment.

"Requests are the only thing that are occurring, many of the banks aren't functioning and aren't providing full service."

Last month, the US frozen assets worth nearly $9.5 billion that belonged to Afghanistan's central banks. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds most of this money.

The International Monetary Fund also stated last month that Afghanistan couldn't access its resources. The World Bank announced that it would suspend funding for projects in Afghanistan.

The UN stated earlier this month that Afghanistan's assets should be freed to prevent a "severe economic downturn."

Al-Falahi stated that the freezing of funds by Western countries and agencies meant Afghanistan was looking to China and Russia for assistance.

He said, "It appears that sooner or later they will be successful with dialogue." China has already sent assistance to Taliban-run countries and pledged tens or millions of dollars.

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