Taliban expands economic team as Afghanistan’s crisis deepens


Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban terrorist group strengthened its economic team on Tuesday as the group is trying to revive the financial system in the shock of billions of dollars in foreign aid from the sudden end, so the Minister of Commerce and two deputies Nominated a person.

Taliban spokesman Zabifra Mujahid said at a news conference that Noordin Azizi, a businessman from Panjshir province in northern Kabul, was appointed as acting minister of commerce and industry and will start working soon.

Mr. Azizi has joined the previously announced Deputy Minister of Finance and Minister of Economy to join a team facing difficult challenges.

The economic crisis, exacerbated by a drought that could starve millions of people, is the biggest challenge the Taliban faces 20 years after being expelled from power by a U.S.-led campaign following the September 11 attack. It is one of.

“We are working on this day and night and trying to resolve economic issues as soon as possible,” Mujahid told reporters.

He made no concrete suggestions on how this could be achieved, but promised that civil servants, who had been unpaid since at least July, would soon begin to receive salaries.

Emphasizing the economic pressures being built on Tullivan, prices of staple foods such as flour, fuel and rice are rising, and strict ration withdrawals still leave long lines outside the bank. I am.

Decades of war, with some humanitarian aid beginning to arrive and limited trade returning across Pakistan’s borders, but severe cash shortages ruining day-to-day economic activity More infrastructure is tattered.

Aid payments, which account for 40% of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product, are mostly due to the West considering how to deal with the group that caused a fatal rebellion against the US-backed government until August. It has stopped.

Afghanistan Currency Dealer
Afghan currency exchange dealers carry bundles of banknotes on the foreign exchange market after banks and markets reopen after the Taliban’s acquisition in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 4, 2021. (Stringer / Reuters)

Amrudin, a former member of the state legislature of the northern city of Kunduz, said farmers were involved in war during the harvest season and some miserable conditions on national roads meant that much of their produce wasted. Stated.

“Kunduz is known as the Afghan bread basket, but the economic situation, especially the agricultural situation in Kunduz, is disastrous,” he said. “Farmers were unable to deliver products like melons and grapes to Kabul because of all the problems.”

Business down

In cities, the normally bustling commercial areas are unusually quiet, creating an improvised market where people try to sell household items and raise cash.

Even before the Taliban occupied Kabul on August 15, 47% of the population lived in poverty, and one-third survived for $ 1.90 a day, according to the Asian Development Bank.

Many have welcomed the end of the 20-year battle between the Taliban and the expulsion of foreign-backed Afghan troops, but the economic crisis has heightened Taliban concerns.

Afghanistan’s central bank has been blocked from accessing more than $ 9 billion of foreign exchange reserves held abroad, and Mr. Mujahid said that millions of dollars in the state disappeared before the Taliban entered the capital. Said.

He said authorities are working to find out what happened to the missing cash he said was taken out of the bank before President Ashraf Ghani’s government collapsed.

Banks limit civilian withdrawals to $ 200 or 20,000 afghani per week, and many say they can’t even access it. What can be more serious in the long run is the lack of work.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the opportunity to work,” said one person living in Kabul who didn’t reveal his name. He said he earned 1,000-1,500 afghans the day before the Taliban arrived, but now has nothing.