World IMF: Afghanistan economic woes to hurt neighbours

07:26  20 october  2021
07:26  20 october  2021 Source:   bbc.com

No consensus to the IMF on the fate of Executive Director

 No consensus to the IMF on the fate of Executive Director © Andrew Caballero-Reynolds The Director-General of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva at a press conference October 17, 2019 in Washington Maintenance, at the head of the IMF , from Kristalina Georgieva, accused of irregularities, remained outstanding on Sunday night, after a new meeting of its governing bodies on the eve of the opening of the autumn meetings of the institution.

Afghanistan's economic woes could fuel a refugee crisis impacting neighbouring countries, Turkey and Europe, the International Monetary Fund has said.

The economy will contract by up to 30% this year - which could push millions into poverty and cause a humanitarian crisis, the fund warned.

  IMF: Afghanistan economic woes to hurt neighbours © Reuters The IMF said Afghanistan's neighbours would be further hit because they rely on its funds for trade.

Bordering Tajikistan has said it can't afford to take in many more refugees.

With foreign assets frozen and most non-humanitarian aid halted, inflows of cash to Afghanistan have all but dried up.

In its regional economic outlook, the fund said: "A large influx of refugees could put a burden on public resources in refugee-hosting countries, fuel labour market pressures, and lead to social tensions, underscoring the need for assistance from the international community."

Scandal dents IMF chief's image of integrity

  Scandal dents IMF chief's image of integrity Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva, whose tenure as head of the IMF remained uncertain Monday amid allegations of data tampering, is described as a respected economist with a strong background in international finance. The 68-year-old took the helm of the Washington-based crisis lender in October 2019 after Christine Lagarde departed to lead the European Central Bank. Two years later, she has been engulfed in controversy after an investigation concluded that during her tenure at the World Bank, she was among top officials who manipulated data from its closely watched Doing Business report in favor of China.

Cost to neighbours

While it's unclear how many Afghan refugees there would be, the IMF estimates that if there were to be a million more, hosting them would cost Tajikistan $100m (£72m), Iran $300m and Pakistan $500m.

Last month Tajikistan said it could not afford to take in large numbers of refugees unless it received international financial assistance while other Central Asian nations have said they have no plans to host refugees.

Nearby countries will also be hurt by the loss of Afghanistan as a major trading partner.

The country used to receive huge amounts in foreign aid. The UK government estimates OECD countries donated $65bn to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2019 - much of this used to filter through to nearby Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan through trade.

The IMF also warned there are concerns that funds going into the country may be used to finance terrorism and launder money.

Last week, members of the G20 group of major economies pledged to put billions of dollars into the Afghan economy to avert an economic catastrophe.

The negotiations between Lebanon and IMF should start in November - Minister .
Lebanon-crisis / IMF: the negotiations between Lebanon and IMF should start in November - Minister October 24 (Reuters) - the negotiations between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) And Lebanon on a financial assistance program should restart in November, said Sunday the Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib to the Al Jadeed chain.

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