Afghanistan on the brink of poverty under the Taliban

Usually during this time of year all the bricks in the factory outside Kabul will be sold. Now they have more than 2 million unsold bricks.

When the Taliban came to power, they found the Afghan economy rapidly approaching the brink of collapse. They are faced with dire predictions of increasing poverty and hunger. The situation has put the local economy at a standstill and entrepreneurs like Samiallah Khan have struggled.

As the drought continues, the United Nations estimates that 95 percent of the population will starve and up to 97 percent of Afghans are at risk of sinking below the poverty line.

Taliban fighters hold their weapons as they stand on top of a building at the Kart-e-Sakhi temple in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, October 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Ahmad Halabisaz)

Taliban fighters hold their weapons as they stand on top of a building at the Kart-e-Sakhi temple in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, October 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Ahmad Halabisaz)

The Taliban, a movement born of rural clerics, struggle to understand the extent of the transformation.

At the local currency exchange market in Kabul, people have been waiting since morning to pick up money sent from relatives and friends abroad. But each person was only allowed to receive $200 dollars per week, and had to wait days.

America froze billions of dollars in Afghan reserves in line with international sanctions against the Taliban. As a result, the liquidity of Afghanistan’s central bank and commercial banks was disrupted and their ability to conduct international transactions was limited. This situation undermines international trade, the mainstay of the Afghan economy. [ka/ab]

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