The World Bank has paused disbursements to its projects in Afghanistan, showing concerns about the potential affect the Taliban government will have on development prospects, particularly for women.
“We are closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with our internal policies and procedures,” a representative for the Washington-based lender said on Tuesday.
“As we do so, we will continue to consult closely with the international community and development partners. Together with our partners, we are exploring ways we can remain engaged to preserve hard-won development gains and continue to support the people of Afghanistan.”
The World Bank has committed more than $5.3 billion to development projects in the nation since April 2002.
As of February, it had 12 active projects belonging solely to the International Development Association for the world’s poorest nations, with $940 million in commitments.
The bank had another 15 projects jointly with the donor-funded Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund that the bank administers, with about $1.2bn in IDA funds committed.
The fund has raised about $12.9bn from 34 donors, making it the largest contributor to Afghanistan’s budget, the World Bank said in April.
The World Bank told staff in an internal memo on Friday that its Kabul-based staff and their immediate families had been safely relocated to Islamabad, Pakistan.