KABUL – In a significant financial development, the board of a Switzerland-based trust fund has reported that Afghanistan’s central bank assets, previously frozen, totaling $3.5 billion, have yielded a remarkable profit of approximately $155 million.
This comes after the U.S. government’s decision to freeze $9.5 billion in Afghan assets following the fall of the previous Afghan administration. Last year, the U.S. State Department initiated a strategic move by channeling $3.5 billion of the frozen assets into a newly established Swiss-based trust fund, intended for the betterment of the Afghan people.
Notably, the trust fund’s board comprises key figures, including U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Scott Miller, former bank chief Alexander Baumann, former Afghan central bank chief and finance minister Anwar Ahadi, and Shah Mehrabi, a distinguished U.S. academic who serves on the DAB Supreme Council.
Anwar Ahadi, speaking to BBC Pashto, shared that the $3.5 billion in Afghan assets has generated a profit of approximately $155 million over the past year. He emphasized the continual growth of this profit, stating, “Since the money was moved into the fund, it has been generating a profit of about $155 million, and this figure has been consistently rising each month.”
Furthermore, Ahadi noted that the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland, where the Afghan assets are held, currently offers a five percent annual profit. He expressed optimism that this profit margin may further increase in the future.
Importantly, the assets allocated to Afghanistan have not yet been utilized. U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order aimed at distributing the frozen Afghan assets. He expressed his intent to release $3.5 billion from these funds to alleviate hunger in Afghanistan and allocate another $3.5 billion to the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
However, some kin of the September 11 attack victims have contested this allocation in a letter to President Biden, arguing that the funds rightfully belong to the Afghan people. The caretaker government of Afghanistan has not officially commented on this matter but previously emphasized that all frozen Afghan assets should be transferred to the DAB (Da Afghanistan Bank).
This significant financial development underscores the evolving situation surrounding Afghanistan’s frozen assets and their potential impact on the country’s future.