Afghanistan initiates National ML/TF Risk Assessment
Based on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendation; “countries should identify, assess, and understand the money laundering and terrorist financing risks for the country, and should take action, including designating an authority or mechanism to coordinate actions to assess risks, and apply resources, aimed at ensuring the risks are mitigated effectively. Based on the results of the assessment, countries should apply a risk-based approach (RBA) to ensure that measures to prevent or mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing are commensurate with the risks identified. This approach should be an essential foundation to efficient allocation of resources across the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and the implementation of risk based measures throughout the FATF Recommendations. Where countries identify higher risks, they should ensure that their AML/CFT regime adequately addresses such risks. Where countries identify lower risks, they may decide to allow simplified measures for some of the FATF Recommendations under certain conditions”.
A national risk assessment is intended to form the basis for the effective implementation of an AML/CFT regime by aligning the regime to the specific threats and vulnerabilities confronting the country - it allows for a better understanding of needs and priorities and can result an increase in effectiveness of policy implementation.
In order to improve the AML/CFT regime, identify higher risk areas, allocate resources; Da Afghanistan Bank decided to undertake ML/TF national risk assessment. Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Afghanistan (FinTRACA) will coordinate the NRA and the World Bank is going to provide technical support to undertaking the national risk assessment in Afghanistan.
Based on the approved strategic plan (2017-2020), FinTRACA as a Financial Intelligence Unit will coordinate the ML/TF national risk assessment. NRA working groups are composed of (Threat, Vulnerability, Banking Sector, DNFBP, Financial Inclusion and other FIs) which will be carried out by 45 members from 17 public and private sector agencies.
The first 3-day NRA workshop was conducted on 17-19 December 2017 at World Bank Office in Kabul. The WG members were provided required learning materials, supported with tools and process presented by World Bank experts. WGs members were also given the opportunity of breakout sessions and individual group discussions.
During the opening of the NRA workshop, Mr. Ahmad Rostom from the World Bank, stated that NRA is owned by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and we will provide technical support to all working groups. He also briefed the Afghan officials about NRA importance as a key element of the AML/CFT regime and the areas where the World Bank will continue its technical support.
Mr. Qaseem Rahimi, Second Deputy Governor of DAB, briefed the participants about Financial Action Task Force Evaluation process and the importance of NRA. He encouraged all WG members to cooperate and coordinate the assessment process. He also assured of any support by Da Afghanistan Bank during the assessment.
At the end, Mr. Nesar Ahmad Yosufzai, Director General of FinTRACA “NRA coordinator”, mentioned that it is the first NRA for Afghanistan which is not only a process to identify, assess and understand ML/TF risks in the country but also a very good learning process to all WG members. He encouraged all members to get the maximum advantage of the learning material and technical support of the World Bank during the process. He also thanked World Bank team for its continues support to Financial Sector of Afghanistan.