A large package containing around $40 million in cash for “humanitarian aid” was seen on an airport tarmac in Afghanistan, officials there said last week.
The money was handed over to the Da Bank of Afghanistan, the Taliban-controlled central bank of Afghanistan, which is headquartered in Kabul. The bank tweeted several images of the cash.
One shows packages of U.S. $100 notes bound in plastic, boxed and bagged in an airport.
“Another package of humanitarian aid worth $40 million dollars arrived in Afghanistan and was handed over to a commercial bank in Kabul. This is the second package that has arrived in Afghanistan this week,” the caption reads.
The bank did not say where the money came from. The bank has received several separate shipments of millions of dollars in recent weeks, according to several identical tweets it posted last month.
“Any principled action that leads to the transfer of reserves to the country and helps the needy people of the society, the Da Afghanistan Bank appreciates it, and this bank will continue its efforts in strengthening the banking sector,” the bank said.
In September, the Biden administration announced the creation of a fund to assist the people of Afghanistan, apart from the country’s central bank.
“The Afghan Fund will help mitigate the economic challenges facing Afghanistan while protecting and preserving $3.5 billion in reserves from Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), Afghanistan’s central bank, for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan,” Wally Adeyemo, U.S. deputy secretary of the Treasury, said at the time.
“The Taliban’s repression and economic mismanagement have exacerbated longstanding economic challenges for Afghanistan, including through actions that have diminished the capacity of key Afghan economic institutions and made the return of these funds to Afghanistan untenable,” Adeyemo said.
Foreign aid stopped when the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021. World governments piled on sanctions, halted bank transfers and froze billions more in Afghanistan’s currency reserves.