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Faltering Afghan Economy Needs to ‘Breathe Again,’ UN Chief Says

  • Bolstering economy doesn’t mean recognizing Taliban: Guterres
  • Taliban lack access to $9 billion in central bank reserves
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Photographer: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP/Getty Images

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on countries to unfreeze assets and allow development aid to flow into the Afghanistan economy or risk watching it collapse.

Bolstering Afghanistan’s economy can be done without recognizing the Taliban, the militant group that took over in August after two decades of war with the U.S., Guterres told reporters at the UN on Monday. Without an infusion of cash to bolster the economy, banks will continue to close while essential services, such as health care, will be interrupted, he said.