ReportBanks without cash, families forced to sell their wares, health system on the brink of explosion … In Afghanistan, the new Taliban government faces an economic and humanitarian crisis.
At noon on Tuesday, September 14, in the center of Kabul, in the Shahr-e-Naw district, guards at the main branch of the new Kabul Bank tried in vain to evacuate hundreds of people from the sidewalk. Their accounts. “The bank won’t open today, go!”, One of them yells at the crowd, part of which sits up, even in anger. Most of them slept there. They have been waiting for three days for the central bank to lend money to this public bank, one of the few that still provides access to bank accounts within the most stringent limits. But the treasury of the Afghan government is hopelessly empty.
The Taliban came to power on August 15, tossed out capital and froze central bank deposits abroad, especially in the United States. Some private banks that reopened were closed again due to lack of liquidity. The UN Donors Conference in Geneva on Monday promised $ 1 billion (8 840 million) in aid, but this is conditional on political considerations, especially human rights. The first big challenge now lies before the Taliban regime: preventing a dangerous economic and humanitarian crisis that will erode the gains made after twenty years of fighting.
People have really started the project. The new Kabul Bank mainly has accounts of government employees and the armed forces. But there are also merchants. “We have a right to 10,000 Afghans [92 euros] With cash or a check for 20,000 Afghans, I have money in my account and I have a family of ten in my favor. ”Jabi, who runs a grocery store in Kabul, explains. Shams Hugh, 28, but twice as old, came from the remote province of Badakhshan (northern). I arrived with 200 Afghans five days ago. Enough to buy bread. ”
Habibullah is a civil servant. His fitted waist coat was well placed for him Salwar Kameez (Long shirt over baggy pants), which shows the appearance of a man with rights. He worked for the provincial administration of Northeast (North) and had to borrow money from relatives and grocery stores in his hometown of Barun for the past month. But these will last “Not anymore [lui] To lend “. Meanwhile, from Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar (northeast), Ala Gul enthusiastically condemns the occupation of the bank guards and the Taliban. “They beat us. I have not had money since August 15 when Kabul fell.” Saifullah, one of the guards, justifies these quick steps: “People started attacking the bank.”
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