Kabul – Since August 2021, due to lack of a responsive government system, the majority of the businesses are either bankrupt or have downsized to minimum survival mode that has directly affected the job market and the unemployment rate has drastically increased.
Afghanistan’s economic sustainability has been directly reliant on International Communities’ aid and agriculture products. Agriculture has been the sole source of livelihood for a measurable segment of the country’s population in remote and rural areas. It is usually dependent on the number of snowfalls during the winter season.
Considering the dependent economic realities of the country, no foundational strategy was developed during the last 20 years of International Communities’ presence in the country to use the national reserves and resources as alternative solutions during the crises.
Considering the current growth rate of the utilities and food supplies prices in the markets, the Famine Early Warning System has warned in a report that as a result of high unemployment rate and limited snowfalls in the northern areas of the country, the need for humanitarian aid will increase in the cities and remote areas (provinces and districts) as a result of the expected phase three of hunger crises before the harvest season.
The report further states that the food supplies stock in the remote areas of the country may finish sooner than the harvest season. The residents will rely on food supplies from the markets which is a big challenge, given the current low-income rate and halted banking system of the country.
The banking system in the country collapsed with the fall of the government and the central bank has not been able to recover it due to the liquidity crises. Taliban government, with the hope to control fluctuation of Afghani currency has set withdrawal quotas on saving accounts in the banks and the people cannot withdraw more than the quota amount on weekly basis. The strategy did not work as expected. The value of the Afghani currency against the US dollar decreased to $1.00 USD/125 AFN in the early days of the Taliban government. This dramatic devaluation of the Afghani currency against $ caused the utility rates and prices to increase accordingly. The current value of Afghani currency against USD is over 90 AFN, which is one of the main reasons behind the market instabilities and fluctuations.
“Considering the realities of the country’s fluctuated and dependent economy on agricultural products, high and considerable rate of hunger is on the way for families in the rural and urban areas.” Based on Famine Early Warning System Network.
Northern provinces are considered to be mainstream for wheat production, but due to lack of enough snowfalls in the winter, the majority of the harvestable lands will not be cultivated and used.
The highlands will not experience the hunger crisis during the harvest season, (June to September), but phase three of hunger crisis is expected to occur in areas with lower agricultural yields.
Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily