9 Jan 2023
Cash Shipments to the UN in Afghanistan – Info Sheet
- The United Nations transports cash into Afghanistan for use by UN agencies. The UN uses the funds to conduct its work in Afghanistan, primarily in providing critical humanitarian assistance to millions of Afghans requiring support. A central reason the UN brings cash into Afghanistan is due to the disruption to international banking transfers and liquidity issues since August 2021.
- All cash brought into Afghanistan is placed in designated UN accounts in a private bank for use by the United Nations.
- All these funds are then distributed directly to the United Nations entities, as well as to a small number of approved and vetted humanitarian partners in Afghanistan.
- None of the cash brought in to Afghanistan is deposited in the Central Bank of Afghanistan nor provided to the Taliban de facto authorities by the UN.
- The cash transfer mechanism has proved to be essential in the provision of life-saving assistance to more than 25 million Afghans by the UN in Afghanistan, including Unicef, UNHCR, WFP, UN Women, OCHA, UN Habitat, WHO, FAO, IOM and others, who manage expenditures in line with their own operational processes and priorities. Further information may be obtained from the respective UN agencies, funds and programmes.
- The cash brought into Afghanistan for use by the UN and approved partners is carefully monitored, audited, inspected and vetted in strict accordance with the UN financial rules and processes.
- Since this transfer mechanism commenced in December 2021, the UN has brought in to Afghanistan approximately US$1.8 billion in funds for the United Nations and partners to conduct their work.
- The United Nations does not comment on the methods, timings, dates and amounts of individual cash shipments.
- The need for further cash shipments for the United Nations in Afghanistan is dependent on multiple factors including, but not limited to, whether the banking sector is sufficiently robust to enable bank transfers and upon the financial requirements of UN entities to conduct their work. The amount of cash brought in to Afghanistan is proportional to the UN’s programme of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. If the volume of assistance that the UN is able to provide diminishes the amount of cash shipped will be reduced.
- The current process of bringing in cash for the United Nations remains the most feasible means of ensuring donor funds can quickly reach the millions of Afghan men, women and children who are in urgent need of aid.