The US Institute of Peace (USIP), after reviewing the recent reports of the World Bank on the economic situation of Afghanistan, said that Afghanistan’s economy once again is near "the precipice."
Senior economic experts of USIP noted that “more than two years into Taliban rule, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world with some of the highest humanitarian needs.”
“Two recent World Bank reports — which were launched at a USIP event last week — lay out the landscape of the Afghan economy and the situation of Afghan households. Despite some signs of economic stability over the past year, the economy remains weak and unable to generate the jobs and livelihoods needed to accommodate the growing population — hence unemployment and underemployment are widespread and increasing. Poverty remains very high, and large numbers of Afghans are still unable to meet their basic food and non-food needs,” said William Byrd, Senior Expert, Afghanistan.
Economic experts emphasized that this need has become more serious with the expulsion of Afghan immigrants from Pakistan.
“There are no quick fixes to the Afghan economy, and the World Bank’s recent reports show that demographic pressures from population growth and the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Pakistan will likely outpace economic growth in the short term. When it comes to maintaining — let alone increasing — Western donor assistance and removing the formal and informal sanctions that have been hindering the Afghan economy, the Taliban would have to moderate their severe restrictions against female education and women working, which seems most unlikely to happen in the light of past experience,” said Scott Worden, Director, Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs said.
However, the Ministry of Economy rejected this report, saying that the Islamic Emirate is one of the successful governments in the region by undertaking large economic projects, controlling the inflation rate and maintaining the country's monetary stability against foreign currencies.
"The Islamic Emirate is considered one of the successful governments in the region for the growth and development of Afghanistan's economy, in the initiation of large-scale infrastructural projects, as well as in controlling the inflation rate and maintaining the stability of the national currency against foreign currencies,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy of the Ministry of Economy.
According to some economists, more infrastructure projects should be undertaken to improve the economic situation in the country.
"The only way to progress is that we should focus all our efforts on strengthening the infrastructure," Ahmad Firdous Behgzin, an economist told TOLOnews.
Previously, some senior economists of the World Bank expressed their concerns about the deterioration of the economic situation in Afghanistan in a meeting held by the World Bank and the USIP.
Some economists have noted in the meeting that half of the population of Afghanistan is currently living below the poverty line.