If conditions are met, the US has created a fund that can transfer frozen billions to Afghanistan

The U.S. is moving $3.5 billion into a new “Afghanistan Fund,” but officials say they will not release the money immediately because there is no reliability in Afghanistan to ensure the fund will benefit the Afghan people, officials said.

The transfer of these funds to Afghanistan’s central bank will depend on two key factors: the bank’s responsible management and ensuring that the funds are not diverted to terrorists or criminals, the officials added.

“We don’t have that confidence today,” said a senior US official. At a minimum, Afghanistan’s central bank will have to “demonstrate independence from political influence and interference.” It will also have to demonstrate that it has “implemented adequate anti-money laundering and terrorist financing controls” and “completed a third-party needs assessment and entered into a reputable third-party audit,” the official explained.

The US has made it clear to the central bank — known as Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) — what steps it should take and reiterated those steps in a letter written this week by the US Treasury Undersecretary, who. CNN review. The letter mentions the need for the DAB to demonstrate independence from Taliban influence and interference, among other expectations.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to finally distribute $7 trillion in frozen assets of Afghanistan’s central bank within the country and fund lawsuits brought by families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The funds were frozen by the US government after the fall of the Afghan government last year and the Taliban taking control of the country.

Afghanistan — now under Taliban control for more than a year — is facing potential economic disaster. Lawmakers have pushed the Biden administration to free up funds to keep the country running for necessities like paying teacher salaries. Last month, the UN said that the humanitarian aid it is providing to the country is not enough to sustain its economy.

The timing of when the central bank can meet the expectations it has set is difficult to estimate, US officials said this week. US officials have said in recent months that recapitalizing Afghanistan’s central bank is “not a near-term option.”

The establishment of the new fund would allow the funds to flow quickly once the necessary steps have been taken.

“The people of Afghanistan are facing humanitarian and economic crises resulting from decades of conflict, severe drought, COVID-19 and endemic corruption,” said US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. “Today, the United States and its partners take an important and concrete step forward to ensure that additional resources are available to reduce suffering and improve the economic stability of the Afghan people while continuing to hold the Taliban accountable.”

The board of the fund will consist of a US and Swiss government official and two Afghan economic experts. The Taliban are not part of this financing mechanism, the officials emphasized.

However, the US remains in contact with the Taliban to have a “pragmatic commitment” to the Afghan people and to support American interests, a senior US official said.

By establishing this mechanism, the US is making it clear that it intends to deliver the frozen funds to the Afghan people, if the DAB has taken the necessary steps, even though they have no intention of recognizing the Taliban who are currently running the country.

“I think the aid organizations, as well as the countries that care for the Afghans, want to continue to work with the nearly 500,000 civil servants who continue to work on behalf of people who include teachers and health workers, engineers, and it will include deep technocrats. Also,” said the top US officials