Kabul residents struggle to fulfil basic needs, running out of cash

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Kabul (Afghanistan) August 27 (ANI): Days after the Taliban took over the war-torn country, the residents of Kabul are reeling from a cash shortage as the banks are closed and ATMs are running out of money.

Most of the ATMs are running out of money in the capital city and people have to wait for hours out the money in recent days, reported The Washington Post.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, the Taliban ordered to reopen the banks but the residents said that most of the bank doors remained closed. The long queues were formed outside the banks but the residents were not sure whether the bank doors were actually opened or just ATM service was available.

"People are running out of cash, and everyone is waiting for banks to reopen," one doctor in the capital said on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's spokesman on Tuesday said that they will stop Afghans national carrying dollars out of Afghanistan and seize the bills.

"We have not received reports of the opening of the banks, but everything will be normal soon to end people worries," Bilal Karimi, an aide to Taliban spokesman Mujahid, said earlier from Kabul.

But the uncertainties among the residents of Kabul have been heightened because of the rising prices, shuttered businesses and shortage of cash.

Another resident, over the rising prices of basic goods like flour and rice climb, said she was worried. "We need a daily routine to be revived soon; otherwise, there will be more serious concerns."

According to The Washington Post, Afghanistan was already one of the poorest countries in the world and relied heavily on foreign aid.

Kabul-based economist Muhammad Dawood Niazi said the future also depends on how the Taliban will run the country this time around.

The economist also warned that prolonged uncertainty could push the economy into free fall, and more people into poverty.

"This unexpected change of government has put everything at standstill in Afghanistan... business, trade and other economic activities. People are suffering the most," he said.

"God forbid, if a government is announced that is not acceptable to the world then the worst economic scenario is feared, which may push more people into poverty," he warned, as the international community awaits the result of Taliban discussions to form a new government.

The World Bank halted funding for projects in Afghanistan up to 30 per cent of the country's civilian budget out of concern about the impact of the Taliban comeback, The Washington Post reported.

The Biden administration has also cut off access to the billions of dollars of Afghan central bank reserves held in US bank accounts. Wire transfer services including Western Union have also stopped operations.

Taliban have reportedly called on some male employees at Afghanistan's Finance Ministry and central bank to get back to work this week. (ANI)

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