The National Union of Afghanistan Workers & Employees said on Friday that approximately two million workers and employees have lost their jobs due to the spread of the coronavirus and preventive measures like the lockdowns in the cities.
According to the union, the political crisis is the other reason of the unemployment in the country.
“The political crisis, security threats, the lockdown of cities and the reduction in international aid strongly concerns us. We want all to pay attention to the situation and the problems,” said Marouf Qadiri, head of the National Workers Union.
Mohammad Haroon, a former restaurant worker, said that he has faced hard times since the restaurants have closed.
“We earned 400-500 Afs in the restaurant, it was sufficient for me. Now I work on the street with my cart and deliver materials. Some people assist me also,” said Haroon.
“Before we earned 300-500 Afs in a day. Now I am earning 100Afs. I have nine children,” said Mohammad Aziz Akbari, another worker.
Some of the street vendors--and government institutions--said that not only the lockdown has affected them but the political crisis has hit them as well.
“Speaking of President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, a worker named Abdul Samad said: "They have turned the nation into a beggar. I want both of them to compromise."
On the other hand, the Ministry of Martyrs & Disabled & Public Affairs & Labor, said that unemployment has increased in the private sector.
“It is clear that the unemployment increased since the coronavirus outbreak, but it has only increased within the private sector--street vendors and those who achieve their income daily. In government, unemployment does not exist; moreover, we recruited some people in the health section, ” said Abdul Fatah Hashrat Ahmadzai, spokesman for the Ministry of Martyrs & Disabled & Public Affairs and Labor.
The Ministry of Economy had warned earlier that unemployment in Afghanistan will increase by 40% and poverty will increase by 70% because of unemployment and the spread of the COVID-19 virus.