Afghanistan has undergone a dramatic transformation during half a year of Taliban rule: the central bank’s overseas assets are still estimated at $9 billion and international aid remains insufficient. The United Nations estimates that more than half of the population needs humanitarian assistance.
Since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan six months ago, the country has felt less violent than it has been in decades, but its aid-fueled economy is on the verge of collapse.
On August 15, 2021, the Afghan capital, Kabul, was ceded to the Taliban with the sudden and secret departure of the US-backed president. Since then, those who did not flee or were evacuated fear for their economic future or the lack of freedom under a group that adheres to a strict interpretation of Islam.
In half a year, family basket prices have skyrocketed, the local currency has collapsed and banks have run out of cash, leaving residents to wait hours — even days — to withdraw the $200-a-week limit from their accounts. savings.
Unlike the 1990s, when they last ruled, the Taliban allowed some women to work in entities such as the ministries of health and education, as well as at Kabul International Airport. But they deplore that they have also been hit the hardest, with thousands of jobs lost in the downturn.
Protests in Kabul over the money blockade
Many blame the crisis on administrative mismanagement of the Taliban and others for the withdrawal of international support, which before returning to power helped fund nearly 80% of public spending.
Once the Taliban took power, about $9,000 million in central bank foreign assets were frozen, and have remained so. Of this total, the United States confiscated 7 billion dollars and the rest in other countries such as Switzerland, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
Washington decided, only a few days ago, to allocate half of the funds in its possession to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, which aroused all kinds of criticism, as well as protests in the streets of Kabul, whose residents were considered theft.
“The theft and kidnapping of Afghan funds by the United States shows the lowest level of humanity and moral deterioration of the country,” spokesman for the Islamists’ political office in Qatar, Naim Wardak, said on Twitter.
In response to the White House’s decision, the Taliban threatened to “reconsider” their policy toward the United States if the country did not release the frozen Afghan funds.
Meanwhile, the United Nations and several humanitarian organizations have lobbied governments around the world, especially the United States, for months to unblock Afghan funds they have frozen to deal with a severe humanitarian crisis with a population of more than half of the population of 40. one million population.
With EFE, Reuters, AP
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