According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 97 percent of Afghans could be poor by the middle of 2022, according to a report. According to the study, which looked at four different scenarios of increasing intensity and isolation, real GDP might decline by as much as 13.2 percent, resulting in a 25-point increase in poverty.Kanni Wignaraja,
UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Bureau Director for Asia and the Pacific, stated that half of the population is already in need of humanitarian assistance. According to this estimate, Afghanistan is on the verge of a quick and catastrophic economic decline.In addition to a prolonged drought and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,
Afghanistan is dealing with the upheaval brought on by the current political transition, which includes frozen foreign reserves, collapsing public finances, increased pressure on the banking system, and rising poverty, according to the UNDP report.In response, the UNDP has proposed a package of interventions aimed at improving the immediate living conditions of the world's most vulnerable people and communities, with a focus on ensuring the rights of women and girls.
However, the $10 billion in assets held by the Afghan central bank are stashed abroad, where they are seen as a significant tool for the West to exert pressure on the Taliban. The US Treasury Department has stated that it will not ease Taliban sanctions or lessen restrictions on the group's access to the global banking system.Meanwhile, Deborah Lyons, the United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan, cautioned that freezing billions of dollars in Afghan assets to keep them out of the hands of the Taliban would undoubtedly cause a "serious economic collapse" and throw millions more Afghans into poverty and famine.
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