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With UN support, Afghanistan rolls out new currency

With UN support, Afghanistan rolls out new currency

Afghanistan rolled out a new currency today, which the United Nations mission in the country hailed as another milestone in the transition process and an investment in the future and security of the war-torn nation.

Different parts of the UN system in Afghanistan have been supporting the process by helping with logistical coordination and providing procurement advice for the Afghan authorities, a spokesman for the mission, known as UNAMA, said in Kabul.

UNAMA also provided one international liaison officer for each of the 13 currency exchange points that opened today, spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said. The officers will facilitate area-based coordination, providing the interface between the Central Bank, area managers and international observers.

The new currency, still known as the afghani, was printed in Germany and Sweden in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000. The new notes are to be distributed to money exchangers in Kabul over the next few days and later to provincial capitals.

The new currency is signed by Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady, a UN Volunteer and professional banker and professor who returned to his native country this year as governor of the Central Afghanistan Bank.

While his job has been to implement a new banking system in the country, the currency reform has taken most of his time. "We will be collecting all old banknotes and destroying them," he said. "It is a massive operation and it will last for two months."