WB freezes projects after Taliban bar school for girls

Washington: The World Bank has put four projects in Afghanistan worth $600 million on hold amid concerns over a decision by the country’s ruling Islamist leaders to ban girls from returning to public high schools, the bank said.

The projects, to be funded under the revamped Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), were being readied for implementation by United Nations agencies to support projects in agriculture, education, health, and livelihoods.

US officials last week canceled planned meetings in Doha with the Taliban over the decision to keep girls out of secondary school.

On March 23, the Ministry of Education announced that girls only up to grade 6th will be allowed to attend classes while the others have to wait until further notice.

Aziz-ur-Rahman Rayan, a spokesman for the Ministry, said all preparations had been made for the re-opening of schools, but that the group’s central leadership had ordered them to stay closed until, “a comprehensive plan has been prepared according to Sharia and Afghan culture”, the BBC reported.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: unmissions.org)

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