Western Union resumes Afghanistan money transfers

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Western Union resumed money transfer services into Afghanistan on Monday.

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WUTHE WESTERN UNION CO.21.64+0.03+0.12%

"We understand the urgent needs of our customers and their families and are committed to supporting them," a spokesperson told FOX Business.

AFGHANISTAN FACES THREAT OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE AFTER TALIBAN TAKEOVER

The firm announced it would suspend payments last month as the Taliban quickly took control of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The decision to cut off a key source of income for many Afghans came as Wester Union awaited further clarity from the Biden administration on sanctions against the Taliban. 

The World Bank estimates that remittances to Afghanistan reached $789 million in 2020, around 4% of gross domestic product (GDP), down from $829 million in 2019. The International Monetary Fund said in June that remittance flows, international grants, subdued imports and resilient exports helped boost Afghanistan's current account surplus to 14.2% of GDP in 2020.

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Western Union's money transfers will be paid out in U.S. dollars or Afghani, depending on how the transfer is requested on the sender's side. Payouts are available in select locations based on local operating times, with the majority in the Kabul area. 

The firm says it will waive transfer fees for customers sending money to Afghanistan from Sept. 3 to Sept. 17.

Outbound services, such as sending money from Afghanistan to another country, remain suspended at this time. 

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