EXCLUSIVE JURIST – Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan file reports with JURIST on the situation there after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Here, a lawyer from Kabul offers his observations and take on what appears to be the country’s impending economic collapse, judging by widespread sales of second-hand household items and rising unemployment. For reasons of confidentiality and security, we retain his name and institutional affiliation. The text has only been slightly retouched to respect the author’s voice.
People sell their household goods to get out of extreme poverty. Since the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, the shutdowns of many businesses, lack of transparency in the banking sector, and a general economic crisis have put so much pressure on people that they have started selling their household furniture.
I saw a media report this morning and decided to walk around my neighborhood in Kabul to see the markets / second hand shops. Unfortunately, flea markets are full of items that people had to sell at very low prices to flee the country and / or feed their families.
Glasses, kitchen items, televisions, rugs, machines, old rugs, beds, sofas and many other household essentials are sold in these stores. This clearly shows that people are desperate and the economy is collapsing. After August 15, there was a huge suspension of economic activities and a sharp decrease in employment opportunities due to the closure of large companies and NGOs in the country. Also, as soon as the Taliban took power, they ordered the women to stay home at least until further notice from them (which I don’t think will happen soon). It will be destructive for families whose female members are the only workers and financial supporters.
Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. He has fought drought, food shortages and most recently covid-19, which has had a huge economic impact. But Afghanistan was not fighting these things alone. Previously, the international community – the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, USAID, and many other development funds – stood with the Afghan people. With the rise of the Taliban, however, the international community as well as the above entities that had previously provided financial assistance to the country ceased their aid and thus the economic crisis intensified.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) warned last week that if no immediate action is taken, the percentage of people living below the poverty line in Afghanistan could drop from 72 percent to 97 percent by the middle of next year.