Economic crisis puts lives of millions of Afghans in jeopardy

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KABUL:

Peace is slowly returning whereas an financial disaster is rapidly rising in Afghanistan, a landlocked South Asian nation that was mired in battle for many years.

Following the withdrawal of US forces and the Taliban’s takeover of the capital Kabul in August this yr, the group introduced an finish to its 20-year warfare towards international troops.

However the sudden collapse of former President Ashraf Ghani’s administration after Taliban fighters entered the capital has left the brand new Taliban authorities with many challenges, together with a cashless central financial institution.

Afghanistan is at present dealing with an enormous financial disaster because the Taliban authorities doesn’t have sufficient monetary assets to easily run the war-torn nation.

Merchants and small businessmen on the streets of Kabul are fearful over the continued financial disaster and accuse Washington of pushing their nation towards financial collapse.

“I’ve been operating my carpet enterprise for the previous 15 years in Kabul however have by no means confronted such a scenario the place I couldn’t promote a single carpet in a day,” Abdul Qayoom, a shopkeeper in Kabul, instructed Anadolu Company.

Qayoom stated Washington’s transfer in mid-August to freeze his nation’s funds induced the disaster.

The US authorities has blocked over $9 billion of the Afghan central financial institution’s reserves, and plenty of donors and organizations, together with the World Financial institution and the Worldwide Financial Fund, have halted funds because the Taliban swept to energy on Aug. 15.

Learn extra: India’s try to get again into Afghanistan

A number of nations together with China, Russia, Pakistan and Qatar have referred to as on the US to permit Afghanistan to entry its international reserves, however there have been no constructive indications up to now.

Households undergo, face meals scarcity

The present disaster has not solely made it tough for the Taliban authorities to easily run the nation however has additionally put the lives of tens of millions of poor Afghans in danger.

Tooryale Wasil, a taxi driver and the only real earner for his eight-member household, stated the disaster has made life very exhausting.

“My home ran out of wooden and gasoline right now and now I’m wondering how I’ll purchase them as a result of I can barely save 200 Afghanis (round $2) a day,” he stated.

“We have been joyful that the warfare had ended and that we’d take pleasure in a peaceable life in Kabul, however this disaster has snatched that pleasure from us,” he added.

Additionally learn: France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan: Macron

Many Afghan taxi drivers and shopkeepers in Kabul who spoke with Anadolu Company narrated the identical tales of hardship.

However they’re joyful that peace has returned to the town after 20 years and they’re now in a position to work till late at night time.

“Earlier, the safety scenario and road crimes had made our lives very tough. However now the Taliban have eradicated crime and there may be now no concern of being robbed or any road crimes,” stated one other driver.

UN warns of rising disaster

Final week, the UN refugee company (UNHCR) warned that winter has arrived whereas folks in Afghanistan are dealing with a meals and shelter disaster.

“Almost 23 million folks, or 55% of the inhabitants, are dealing with excessive ranges of starvation – practically 9 million of whom are susceptible to famine,” stated UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch in an announcement issued final week whereas launching a world fundraising winter marketing campaign for displaced households in Afghanistan.

“Folks do not have sufficient to eat, and it’s extremely seen,” Baloch stated whereas calling it “a disaster of starvation and hunger.”

Final month, Afghan Performing International Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in an open letter to the US Congress referred to as for taking “accountable steps in the direction of addressing the humanitarian and financial disaster unfolding” within the nation.

“Because the chilly winter months are quick approaching in Afghanistan, and in a state the place our nation has been hammered by the coronavirus, drought, warfare and poverty, American sanctions haven’t solely performed havoc with commerce and enterprise but in addition with humanitarian help,” the letter stated.

He added that US sanctions hurt the nation’s well being, schooling and different civil companies and are inflicting an enormous downside for the general public.

“Harm to those constructing blocks will solely hurt frequent Afghans, and it will function the worst reminiscence ingrained in Afghans by the hands of America,” he warned.

Amid these challenges, the Taliban say they’re struggling to offer meals and different important objects to needy folks throughout the nation.

However there may be hope that issues will change.

“Now we’ve got a longtime authorities, producing our income by means of taxes, customs etcetera, and we’re spending that quantity on our folks,” stated Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban authorities.

Mujahid additionally thanked all these nations which can be serving to Afghanistan and hoped these crises will finish quickly.