Afghan citizens call for a thaw of foreign aid to curb rising prices and unemployment

Three months after the start of the Taliban regime, Afghans continue to plunge deeper into political, social and economic instability, ANI reported on Saturday citing local media. Citizens face a “sharp increase” in poverty, unemployment, food and fuel prices across the country. According to Ariana News, residents have claimed that the dramatic increase in food and fuel prices is the result of a blockade of access to the country’s international reserves.

Notably, since the formation of an all-male defiant interim government and other factors defying international law, aid organizations across the world have stopped financially supporting the group-led Afghanistan. Stressing the need to immediately unblock foreign aid, citizens called on the international community to speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid to the country, Ariana News reported.

“If help is coming, it is good because people are unhappy and prices have gone up,” Kabul resident Ariana Zamari told reporters. The outcry over poverty and unemployment aligns with a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report released earlier this month, which indicated that by mid-2022, 97% of the country could sink into a serious economic crisis due to the freezing of funds.

Call for an immediate economic response

“Half the population is already in need of humanitarian aid. This analysis suggests that we are on the way to a rapid and catastrophic deterioration in the lives of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan, ”Kanni Wignaraja, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Office for Asia and the United Nations. Peaceful.

Currently, the country is on the brink of “universal poverty,” the UNDP said in a statement. The study suggested an immediate need for an economic response program to address the current crisis in the war-torn nation. The study published by UNDP analyzed up to four policy scenarios of “increasing intensity and isolation” that indicated a contraction of real GDP of 13.2%. The estimated percentage suggested that at the current rate, the poverty graph would increase by at least 25%. The UNDP report also underscored the need for immediate humanitarian assistance to restore normalcy after the “catastrophic deterioration of the lives of the most vulnerable populations in Afghanistan”.

Similar concerns were expressed by International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesman Gerry Rice after the organization decided to disburse half of the funds to Afghanistan on September 17, in line with international standards for recognition of the government. “The funds will remain on hold until there is clarity within the international community on recognition of the Taliban-led government,” he said. However, deeply concerned about the economic situation in Afghanistan, Rice urged the international community to determine a response deemed appropriate to stem the “looming humanitarian crisis”.

Nevertheless, the Afghan people have remained calm and hope the situation will change sooner than expected. “People’s problem has grown, but we have to be patient,” fellow Kabul resident Mohammad Baqi told Ariana. Recently, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid delivered 14.4 metric tonnes of life-saving emergency supplies to WHO in Afghanistan. Similar expeditions and donations have been made by world powers to avoid deeper crises.

With contributions from ANI

Image: AP

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