The US government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said that the per capita income of the people in the war-torn nation is expected to fall to $350 due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
In a report, SIGAR said that the per capita income is estimated to have fallen from $650 in 2012 to $500 in 2020.
“In the worst-case scenario modelled by the Asian Development Bank, unemployment could increase by more than 40 per cent in the short run and household consumption could contract by 44 per cent,” TOLO News quoted the report as saying.
The report, quoting UN Development Programme (UNDP) and IMF estimates, said Afghanistan’s economy suffered a severe contraction in 2021 up to a 20 to 30 per cent drop in GDP.
UNDP modelling has estimated that Afghanistan’s nominal GDP could fall from $20 billion in 2020 to $16 billion in the months after the political changes in August 2021.
The UNDP has “warned of further contractions of between 3 per cent and 5 per cent if urgent corrective action was not taken, especially with respect to the employment of women”, the SIGAR report said.
When Kabul fell to the Taliban in August 2021, Afghanistan had over $9 billion in reserves held in the name of the country’s central bank, the Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), outside of the country.
This included $7 billion in reserves held in the US, with the rest of the reserves largely being in Germany, the UAE, Switzerland, and a couple of other states.
All these assets are now frozen in response to the Taliban coming to power.
Currently, all development assistance has stopped and only humanitarian aid is coming to the country.