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Political Change Deteriorates Life in Afghanistan Despite Humanitarian Aid

Immigration News

Arif Ahmadi
Arif Ahmadihttps://www.khaama.com/
Arif Ahmadi holds a B.A. degree in Journalism. He works as an Editor & Content Writer for Khaama Press.
FILE: Men, including children, reaching to a piece of bread.

KABUL, Afghanistan – The political change after the US troop withdrew last August pushed the country into a humanitarian and economic crisis, according to new report by UNDP, deteriorating lives of over 40 million population despite coordinated aids from international communities.

The sudden stop of international aid suspended development services and support in Afghanistan, which constituted 70% of the total expenditure and contributed nearly 40% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

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Last year, UNDP estimated the GDP could fall by 20% within a year and the ensuing inflation, lack of liquidity, disruption in the banking sectors, and a significant fall in aggregate demand could result in almost universal poverty by mid-2022 – Afghanistan is at this point.

Since the Taliban marked one year rule in the country, the situation remains precarious and uncertain and the impact of the multiple crises continue to reverberate across Afghanistan.

“Two decades of heavy dependence on international aid and imports, a lack of industrialization and competitiveness, and limited mobility and connectivity among regions, among other factors, have hindered Afghanistan’s forward momentum,” the report says.

UNDP analysis forecast that restricting women from working can result in an economic loss of up to US$1 billion – or up to five percent of the country’s GDP.

“The rights of women and girls are critical for the future of Afghanistan,” said UNDP Asia-Pacific Director Kanni Wignaraja. “It starts with education and continues with equal opportunity when it comes to employment and pay.”

UNDP has launched, as part of the overall UN response to the crisis in Afghanistan, an area-based approach to development emergency initiatives, known as ABADEI. This means working directly with Afghans in need at the community level through cash-for-work projects, local market stimulation, and livelihood schemes to improve food security.

UNDP will also support a series of programmes that facilitate the rebound of private sector and financial services, technical and vocational education, solar power generation, and health systems management and service delivery.

“We are grateful for the $300 million in funding provided for our work on livelihoods as part of the overall crisis response in Afghanistan, but much more is needed for economic recovery,” UNDP Resident Representative Abdallah Al Dardari said.

“Afghans are running out of time and resources. Afghanistan needs support from the international community to bring back to life local markets and small businesses which are the backbone of Afghanistan’s economy,” he added.

Key findings in the report, “One Year in Review: Afghanistan Since August 2021”:

  • The price of a food basket, with the minimum calories to escape food poverty, has surged 35 percent since August 2021.
  • Nearly 700,000 jobs were lost by mid-2022.
  • Among jobs women have lost in government ministries and entities, more than 14,000 or 82 percent were in the Ministry of Education, following restrictions on girls’ education.
  • A shrinking licit economy has increased the share of the illicit economy to 12-18 percent of GDP, from about 9-14 percent a year ago. 
  • A severe liquidity crisis has affected financial services; the microfinance sector has nearly collapsed, hitting poor and female borrowers hardest.
  • Nearly 20 million people face high and critical levels of food insecurity since August 2021, almost twice the average in the preceding three years.
  • Children under five face a serious threat of severe acute malnutrition, particularly in the south.
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