The Taliban face dire challenge of reviving crippling Afghan economy in the wake of mass hunger, unpaid salaries, banks closure and frozen aids and funds from international lenders. Although they have been celebrating Afghan independence and return of their sovereignty as the US completed its final withdrawal, lives for millions of people in Afghanistan remain miserable and unpredictable amid a crippling economy.
The Taliban's regaining of power in Afghanistan is marking the end of the United States' 20-year war that left the group stronger than it was in 2001. But will the Taliban maintain power? Let's take a look at the challenges for the Taliban's authority. pic.twitter.com/SRMvF4ZC4m
— ANews (@anews) September 1, 2021
Taliban face dire challenges amid their victory
The Taliban, which seized control of the country for the second time, celebrated their victory, saying that Afghanistan is a “free and sovereign” nation finally.
US President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan was the best available option for him to end to US longest military campaign.
Government employees have not been paid salaries for months and banks are barely functional as the country has been cut off from the international financial institutions after the Taliban took over the country on August 15.
More than half a million Afghans have been internally displaced due to months of deadly fighting between the Taliban fighters and government forces.
Taliban face dire challenges of impending “humanitarian catastrophe”
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe”, adding that basic services threatened to collapse “completely”. One in three Afghans is going hungry and more than half a million people have been displaced by conflict since January.
One-third of Afghanistan’s population of 38 million is facing food insecurity, including two million children who are already malnourished, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
Afghanistan has faced severe food shortages even before the Taliban takeover. Some 40 percent of crops have been lost and livestock devastated by droughts. Also, fears are raised that Afghanistan might run out of food without additional funding.
Taliban face dire challenges of governance
Charles Stratford, Al Jazeera’s correspondent, said that there are increasing concerns about the formation of a new government in Afghanistan and how the Taliban intend to deal with the Afghan’s crumbling economy.
“There are huge questions with respect to governance in terms of delivering services and managing an economy that is haemorrhaging,” Stratford, reporting from Kabul, said.
Also, he pointed out that the decision taken by international financial lenders such as IMF and World Bank to freeze and halt disbursement will be calamitous for the Taliban to run the country. As Taliban face dire challenges in running the country with a volatile political backdrop, this move will be the final nail in the coffin for them.
On Wednesday, Afghanistan central bank board member urged US President Joe Biden and IMF to release funds for the country. The US froze nearly $9.5bn in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank last month.