Kabul, Afghanistan – An average Afghan family affords 82% of basic food commodities, selling their belongings in order to make ends meet, amid snowy season that requires additional fund to warm up living space.
According to Martin Schuepp, Director of Operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an average Afghan family can only afford 82% of basic food commodities, expressing concerns over the economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
“We see more and more Afghans who are really having to sell their belongings in order to make ends meet, and where they have to buy materials for heating and at the same time have to face increasing costs for food and other essential items,” he said in an interview with AP.
“Sanctions are a challenge in getting aid and the necessary supplies to the country in a timely fashion, and it is key that all sanctions have humanitarian exemptions so organizations like the ICRC could continue their work.”
Economists Sayed Masoud believe “the economic stability could be ensured via banks and mines.”
“The suspension of banking relations with the international banks has posed problems in the transaction of money for various aims such as trading,” said Mir Shikib Mir, another economist.
“Also, the transaction of money by humanitarian organizations has been facing challenges.”
Meanwhile, local shopkeepers and retailers expressed concern over decreasing number of customers, which they believe are due to financial challenges families are facing.
“The unemployment has risen and the customers have dropped,” said Abdul Alim, a shopkeeper, as TOLOnews quoted. “When there is no money, of course the customers drop.”
“Poverty and unemployment have increased in society. The people don’t purchase anything else but essential materials,” said Almas, another shopkeeper.
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Earlier, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said more than half of Afghanistan’s population is dependent on life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection, suggesting one in two people do not know where their next meal come from.
The commission said it provides direct aid to the vulnerable people in Afghanistan, including provision of healthy centers and water projects that are of the primary needs of the citizens.
“Afghanistan’s people cannot be left behind. We provide direct aid to the most vulnerable,” UNHCR Canberra wrote in a tweet. “We build schools, health centers, water projects and roads to provide conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and displaced people when they feel ready.”
What We Know About Afghanistan Economy Since the Takeover
The ongoing political crisis since the takeover last August has “hit hard” private sectors in Afghanistan, where businesses were halted and put to uncertainty, according to a latest survey conducted by the World Bank.
Due to shortage in sells, private companies have laid off more than a half of their employees on average, a rising concern on unemployment rate in the country.
“The majority of surveyed businesses reported a drastic decline in consumer demand for their products and services and have been forced to scale back operations, reduce investments, and lay off employees,” the report said.
According to the survey, small enterprises have been hit hardest with about 38 percent of them seizing operation, comparing to a 25 percent among medium and 35 percent among large businesses in the country.
The finding shows Afghan domestic inputs have become more expensive and yet difficult to obtain due to supplier closure and supply chain disruptions, which all lead to price inflation since the beginning of political uncertainty.
In August 15, 2021 the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, rolling back the foremost achievements of the post-2001 reconstruction efforts on overall growth of the country.