World Bank suspends $600 million projects after Taliban ban girls from schools

WION Web Team
WashingtonUpdated: Mar 31, 2022, 09:30 AM IST
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Women and girls are facing numerous restrictions in Afghanistan (representative image). Photograph:(Reuters)

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With girls banned from returning to secondary schools, the World Bank has suspended four projects worth $600 million in Afghanistan, a media report said.

The World Bank has suspended four projects totaling $600 million in Afghanistan, the BBC reported on Wednesday, due to the prohibition on girls returning to secondary schools.

According to Pajhwok News, the World Bank stated the projects were being developed for implementation by UN agencies to help agriculture, education, health, and livelihoods.

Only until the World Bank and foreign partners have a greater knowledge of the situation and confidence that the schemes' goals can be met will the four projects be offered to ARTF donors for approval.

Pictures | In pics: Afghan women losing fundamental rights rapidly under Taliban regime

Last week, US officials called off negotiations with the Taliban in Doha due to the Taliban's decision to keep girls out of secondary school.

The World Bank's executive board approved a plan to deploy over $1 billion from the ARTF fund to fund critical education, agricultural, health, and family programmes on March 1.

Watch | US and allies slam Taliban ban on girls' education

According to the BBC, the projects placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that girls and women participated in and benefited from the assistance.

The new Afghan rulers reversed their decision to open secondary schools for girls, much to the chagrin of the international community.

Officials from ten nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, issued a joint statement on Friday condemning the Taliban's conduct as "very alarming." 

(With inputs from agencies)