With struggle over, financial disaster places lives of tens of millions of Afghans in jeopardy


KABUL:

Peace is slowly returning whereas an financial disaster is shortly 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 12 months, the group introduced an finish to its 20-year struggle in opposition to overseas troops.

But 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 going through an enormous financial disaster because the Taliban authorities doesn’t have sufficient monetary sources to easily run the war-torn nation.

Traders and small businessmen on the streets of Kabul are frightened over the continuing financial disaster and accuse Washington of pushing their nation towards financial collapse.

“I’ve been running my carpet business for the past 15 years in Kabul but have never faced such a situation where I couldn’t sell a single carpet in a day,” Abdul Qayoom, a shopkeeper in Kabul, instructed Anadolu Agency.

Qayoom mentioned Washington’s move in mid-August to freeze his nation’s funds prompted 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 Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have halted funds because the Taliban swept to energy on Aug. 15.

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

Several nations together with China, Russia, Pakistan and Qatar have known as on the US to permit Afghanistan to entry its overseas reserves, however there have been no optimistic indications to this point.

Families endure, 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 earner for his eight-member household, mentioned the disaster has made life very laborious.

“My house ran out of wood and gas today and now I wonder how I will buy them because I can barely save 200 Afghanis (around $2) a day,” he mentioned.

“We were happy that the war had ended and that we would enjoy a peaceful life in Kabul, but this crisis has snatched that joy from us,” he added.

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

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

But they’re completely satisfied that peace has returned to the town after 20 years and they’re now capable of work till late at night time.

“Earlier, the security situation and street crimes had made our lives very difficult. But now the Taliban have eliminated crime and there is now no fear of being robbed or any street crimes,” mentioned one other driver.

UN warns of rising disaster

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

“Nearly 23 million people, or 55% of the population, are facing extreme levels of hunger – nearly nine million of whom are at risk of famine,” mentioned UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch in a press release issued final week whereas launching a world fundraising winter marketing campaign for displaced households in Afghanistan.

“People don’t have enough to eat, and it’s very visible,” Baloch said while calling it “a crisis of hunger and starvation.”

Last month, Afghan Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in an open letter to the US Congress known as for taking “responsible steps towards addressing the humanitarian and economic crisis unfolding” within the nation.

“As the cold winter months are fast approaching in Afghanistan, and in a state where our country has been hammered by the coronavirus, drought, war and poverty, American sanctions have not only played havoc with trade and business but also with humanitarian assistance,” the letter mentioned.

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

“Damage to these building blocks will only harm common Afghans, and this will serve as the worst memory ingrained in Afghans at the hands of America,” he warned.

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

But there may be hope that issues will change.

“Now we have an established government, generating our revenue through taxes, customs etcetera, and we are spending that amount on our people,” mentioned 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.

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