Taliban expand economic team as Afghan crisis deepens By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Afghan cash trade seller carries bundles of banknotes at an trade market, following banks and markets reopening after the Taliban took over in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 4, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photograph


(Reuters) – Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities bolstered its financial staff on Tuesday, naming a commerce minister and two deputies because the group tries to revive a monetary system in shock from the abrupt finish to billions of {dollars} in overseas assist.

Nooruddin Azizi, a businessman from Panjshir province north of Kabul, was named as performing minister of commerce and business and would begin work instantly, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid advised a information convention.

Azizi joins the performing finance minister and minister for financial affairs, each of whom had been introduced beforehand, in a staff dealing with a frightening activity.

Exacerbated by a drought that threatens to depart thousands and thousands of individuals hungry, the financial disaster is among the many largest challenges dealing with the Taliban 20 years after they had been pushed from energy by a U.S.-led marketing campaign within the wake of the Sept. 11 assaults.

“We’re working day and night time on this and on ensuring that the financial concern is resolved as quickly as attainable,” Mujahid advised reporters.

He didn’t give concrete proposals as to how this may very well be achieved, however did promise that authorities staff who’ve been unpaid since not less than July would begin receiving salaries quickly.

Underlining the financial pressures constructing on Afghanistan’s new authorities, costs for staples like flour, gasoline and rice have risen and lengthy queues are nonetheless forming exterior banks as they strictly ration withdrawals.

Some humanitarian assist has began to reach and restricted commerce has returned throughout land borders with Pakistan, however a extreme money scarcity is crippling day-to-day financial exercise and many years of warfare have left a lot infrastructure in tatters.

Overseas assist funds, which accounted for 40% of Afghanistan’s gross home product, have all however stopped because the West considers find out how to cope with a bunch that, till August, led a lethal insurgency towards the U.S.-backed authorities.

Amruddin, a former member of the provincial council within the northern metropolis of Kunduz, mentioned farmers caught up within the warfare through the harvest season and the dire state of a few of the nation’s roads meant a lot of the produce had gone to waste.

“Kunduz is called the bread basket of Afghanistan, however the financial state of affairs, particularly the agriculture state of affairs in Kunduz, is depressing,” he mentioned. “Farmers couldn’t get merchandise like melon and grapes to Kabul as a consequence of all the issues.”


Within the cities, usually bustling business areas are unusually quiet, and impromptu markets have sprung up the place folks attempt to promote their family items to boost money.

Even earlier than the Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15, 47% of the inhabitants lived in poverty, in response to the Asian Growth Financial institution, and a 3rd survived on the equal of $1.90 a day.

Whereas many individuals welcomed the tip to twenty years of combating between the Taliban and ousted Afghan forces supported by overseas troops, the financial disaster is inflicting the brand new authorities growing concern.

Afghanistan’s central financial institution has been blocked from accessing greater than $9 billion in overseas reserves held exterior the nation, and Mujahid mentioned thousands and thousands of {dollars} belonging to the state had disappeared earlier than the Taliban entered the capital.

He mentioned officers had been making efforts to seek out out what occurred to the lacking money that he mentioned had been taken out of banks earlier than the federal government of President Ashraf Ghani collapsed.

Banks are limiting withdrawals to $200 or 20,000 afghani every week for personal residents and many individuals say they can not even entry that. Doubtlessly extra critical in the long run is the shortage of labor.

“Sadly, there aren’t any job alternatives for us,” mentioned one Kabul resident, who declined to provide his identify. He mentioned he earned 1,000-1,500 afghani a day earlier than the Taliban arrived however now had nothing.

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