Western Union Co and MoneyGram International Inc resumed money-transfer services to Afghanistan. This moves in line with a U.S. push to allow humanitarian activity to continue after the Taliban’s takeover. They had suspended more than two weeks ago, after the Islamist militia captured Kabul at lightning speed. There are many eases regarding the security concerns after the completion of the Taliban’s conquest of the country. And that had paved the way for the banks to reopen this week.
Jean Claude Farah, Western Union’s president in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told that the reopening of banks, plus a push by the United States to facilitate humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, had given the American company the confidence to resume services. He added that much of their business involving Afghanistan is low-value family and support remittances which stands for the basic needs of the people there. Hence, that’s the grounding they have and the reason for the reopen of their business.
Funds from migrant workers overseas is the lifeline for many Afghans. It has helped the economy of one of the world’s poorest nations. The United Nations says about half of the population requires aid. MoneyGram stated that following the guidance from the U.S. government, it was resuming its services in coordination with its partners in the country and the Afghanistan Banks Association. They also added that they recognize that remittances play a pivotal role in the livelihood and daily needs of the Afghan people.
Broad range of sanctions on financing to the Taliban, is classed as a terrorist organisation by the United States and Britain. Remittances to Afghanistan reached $789 million in 2020. Afghanistan’s central bank is providing funds in recent days, of hundreds of thousands of dollars to each bank that requested liquidity. But the financial system and economy could be in peril unless the Taliban can access the central bank‘s roughly $10 billion in assets. Farah said that before they shut down their services, around 45% of each transaction was sent via Western Union to Afghanistan, which was $200 or less.