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World Bank evacuates its staff from Kabul to Islamabad

The World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Melinda Good who joined the Kabul office on July 1

The World Bank has evacuated its staff and their families from Kabul to neighbouring Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, according to an internal staff memo issued on Friday and seen by Reuters.

Radio Pakistan said that foreigners and Afghans attached to the World Bank and other international organizations were among 350 people to arrive in Islamabad from Kabul aboard a special Pakistan International Airlines flight.

The World Bank has not issued any comments on its operations in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control of Kabul on Sunday.

The newly appointed World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Melinda Good had joined the Kabul office on July 1, succeeding Henry Kerali, who completed his term.

She is a United States national who joined the World Bank in 2005 and has worked in several leadership positions across the World Bank, including in South Asia. 

The World Bank has 12 active projects in Afghanistan funded by the International Development Association (IDA) for the total amount of $940 million, and 15 projects jointly funded with Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF),  with a net commitment value of over $1.2 billion from IDA.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s private sector development arm, has a cumulative committed investment portfolio of over $300 million and its advisory services portfolio stands at $11.3 million.

The World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has $116.5 million of gross exposure for two projects in dairy and cashmere production in Afghanistan. ARTF was established in 2002 to provide a coordinated financing mechanism for the Government of Afghanistan’s budget and national investment projects. Since its inception, 34 donors have contributed over $12.9 billion to the ARTF, making it the largest single source of on-budget financing for Afghanistan’s development.

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