Afghanistan’s prospects for economic recovery are dim without maintaining girls’ education and women’s employment opportunities, according to a new study released by the United Nations Development Program on Monday in Kabul.
The study entitled: “Afghanistan Socio-Economic Outlook 2023” describes how Afghanistan’s economic output fell by 20.7 % after the Taliban took control in 2021.
The report also emphasized that Afghanistan remains among the world’s most impoverished countries due to the “unparalleled shock.”
The study also found that despite a relatively stable exchange rate, an increase in exports, growing demand for labour, and muted inflation, GDP is estimated to have further declined by 3.6 % in 2022.
According to the new report, Afghanistan’s GDP might rise by 1.3 per cent in 2023 if foreign aid stays at its current level of $3.7 billion. However, long-term prospects for economic development are still dim and inadequate, particularly if foreign funding is withheld due to the Taliban’s repressive policies.
“There will be no sustainable recovery without the active participation of Afghan women in the economy and public life, which includes delivering on humanitarian and livelihoods-saving projects,” said UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Kanni Wignaraja. “Only the complete continuity of girls’ education and women’s ability to pursue work and learning can keep the hope of any real progress.
According to the report, impoverished individuals increased dramatically from 19 million in 2020 to 34 million in 2022.
“If foreign aid is reduced this year, Afghanistan may fall from the cliff edge into the abyss,” cautioned the UNDP Resident Representative In Afghanistan, Abdallah Al Dardari