Norway freezes Afghanistan aid -report

 OSLO, (Reuters) – Norway is blocking payments of 300  million crowns ($55.2 million) in aid to Afghanistan until  issues surrounding the collapse of the country’s biggest private  lender, Kabulbank, are resolved, a Norwegian newspaper said yesterday.

Kabulbank collapsed last year with outstanding loans of  about $926 million, and was later taken over by Afghanistan’s  central bank and split into two. The International Monetary Fund  and the Afghan government are at loggerheads over how to wind up  the bank, recover lost assets and strengthen the sector. The  impasse has delayed tens of millions of dollars in aid.

In an interview with Norwegian daily Dagens Naeringsliv,  deputy Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said the Afghan  authorities’ failure to provide good governance was one of the  biggest problems for Norway in Afghanistan.

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