Reuters reports that the World Bank’s board has backed transferring $280 million from a frozen trust fund to two aid agencies to help Afghanistan cope with a brewing humanitarian crisis after the US withdrawal, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The 31 donors to the World Bank-administered Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) must approve the transfer before the funds could flow to the World Food Programme and UNICEF, the sources said. The donors were expected to meet on Friday, the sources said.
The World Bank board met informally on Tuesday to discuss transferring up to $500 million of the $1.5 billion in the ARTF to humanitarian aid agencies, people familiar with the plan previously told Reuters.
Afghanistan’s 39 million people face a cratering economy, a winter of food shortages and growing poverty three months after the Taliban seized power as the last U.S. troops withdrew from 20 years of war.