WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to use executive authority to move some $7 billion of the Afghan central bank's assets frozen in the American funding system to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to a U..S. official familiar with the decision.
The order will require U.S. financial institutions to facilitate access to $3.5 billion for Afghan relief and basic needs. The other $3.5 billion would remain in the United States and be used to fund ongoing litigation by U.S. victims of terrorism.
The official spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity because the decision hasn't been formally announced.
Afghanistan's economy had been slumping for years, and the recession has only deepened since the Taliban ousted the U.S.-backed government amid their withdrawal last summer.
The Associated Press reports that international funding was cut off when the Taliban took power, cutting off some basic services in the country. The crisis has only been exacerbated by the spread of COVID-19 and drought.
Biden is expected to sign the executive orders Friday, though it's unclear what time.