Sen. Kennedy urges Treasury Secretary not to let IMF funding go to Taliban

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) is urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen not to let funding set aside for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) go to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

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Kennedy pointed out that the annual allocation from the U.S. to the IMF, set for Aug. 23, would send more than $400 million to Afghanistan.

“During our meeting last May, I urged you to halt your pursuit of approving Special Drawing Rights under the guise that an allocation would provide foreign aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. As I noted, the bulk of the funds from an SDR allocation would wrongly benefit G20 countries — the wealthiest economies in the world—while millions would go to our adversaries, state sponsors of terrorists, and countries that have perpetrated genocide. It is my understanding that Afghanistan, under the approved allocation, is expected to receive $450 million in SDRs, a portion of which is scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan by next week,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to Yellen.

As the Taliban has seized power in Afghanistan, Kennedy said these SDRs would go to them.

“The Biden Administration must not allow the Taliban to gain legitimacy in economic or diplomatic dealings with the U.S. or abroad. The Taliban never intended to abide by the terms of the peace deal, and this administration should not bend to the false promises of the Taliban,” Kennedy wrote. “With this in mind, I urge you to block the nearly half a billion dollars that is headed to Afghanistan under the Taliban’s rule. Furthermore, I ask the Treasury Department and the IMF to end the use of SDRs as a means of foreign aid to countries like China, Iran, and Russia, who continue to support this terrorist regime.”