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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Economic Crisis: Afghanistan’s economic collapse is happening ‘before our eyes’ says UN

Afghanistan’s economic collapse “is happening right before our eyes”, said a UN humanitarian official, as he urged the international community to intervene to prevent further deaths.

Four million children are out of school and nine million more will be soon, he said, because 70 per cent of teachers have not been paid since August

Marty Griffiths told the Associated Press on Thursday that donor countries must agree that, in addition to emergency assistance, they must meet the basic needs of the Afghan people such as education, hospitals, electricity and pay public servants. As he said it is also important to invest in the economy, which has seen that the banking system is “well closed.”

“We are seeing an economic downturn,” he said. “It’s going to be a very difficult week.”

The financial crisis in Afghanistan must be resolved by the end of the year, and funding should be made available to winter workers, Griffiths said. He added that the deteriorating economic situation made him reconsider his old belief that Afghanistan could survive the winter with only human help.

Four million children are out of school and another nine million will be out soon, he said, as 70% of teachers have not been paid since August.

“And if we don’t do that, all that talk about the right of women and girls to go to school becomes education,” she said.

“So, my message today is a thrilling call about the human consequences of the economic downturn and the need for urgent action,” Griffiths said.

In addition to the Taliban’s promises of inclusion and tolerance for women and minorities, the international community is frustrated with their actions, which include renewing borders for women and electing a male government for all.

As a result of the occupation of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s aid-based economy was in turmoil. Due to uncertainty about the new government, Afghanistan’s $ 9 billion investment, mostly held in the United States, was closed and the International Monetary Fund withdrew about $ 450 million.

Taliban leaders banned foreign exchange transactions and called on the US to reduce sanctions so that teachers, doctors, and other public servants could be paid.

Griffiths said the UN is asking the US and other donors for funding; which, he said, would not go to the Taliban, but rather directly to teachers, doctors, electricity suppliers, and other government officials.

He said the effects of Afghanistan’s economic collapse were already evident – reports of hospitals without electricity, malnutrition, and three or four children sleeping in the same bed, as well as tens of thousands of doctors, teachers, and unpaid government workers struggling to survive.

Despite the fact that the United States has been supporting the supply of electricity to Afghanistan, he noted that 80 percent of the electricity sources “are now on the verge of being shut down, and without electricity it has automatic consequences.”

Griffiths said the UN hopes to reach USD 700 million by January 31 to get help from Afghan people. He said the World Bank had rescheduled USD 280 million to help people in Afghanistan.

Unless essential services are provided to the Afghan people, Griffiths warned, “we know what will happen.”

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