KABUL: The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has dismissed a number of the World Bank's employees as it cannot afford to pay their salaries anymore, a media report said.
The Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) has sacked several employees, however, it is not clear yet how many employees will be let go, Sputnik reported on Saturday citing a letter from the ministry.
"Yes, I saw this letter. The number of World Bank contract employees is up to 15,000. The fate is not yet known. The Taliban (under UN sanctions for terrorism) have replied that they will not be able to pay salaries in the new fiscal year. Waiting for the World Bank to say what it wants," an employee of the World Bank working for MRRD said.
Since the Taliban's takeover in mid-August, Afghanistan has been facing a number of humanitarian issues.
Several Afghans, including state workers, the UN and the World Bank's staff, education and healthcare personnel, have not received their salaries for several months, according to multiple reports. Salary delays have impacted nearly half a million state workers, the reports added.
Earlier this month, the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, which is managed by the World Bank, said it planned to transfer USD 100 million to UNICEF and USD 180 million to the World Food Programme to help Afghans.
Martin Griffiths, who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said humanitarian operations in Afghanistan are set to be the largest anywhere in the world in 2022, reaching some 22 million people.
Some 160 national and international organizations are providing critical food and health assistance, as well as education, water and sanitation, and support to agriculture. "We urgently need to ramp up this work," he stressed.
He said the impact of lifesaving UN aid depends on cooperation by the de facto authorities and on the flexibility of the funding received. "We must all do everything we can to preserve the life, dignity and future of all Afghans."