Jan Egeland: Afghanistan is on the brink of economic collapse

Jan EgelandPhoto: Lise Åserud / NTB

Afghanistan’s economy is on the brink of collapse, and the situation could worsen the country’s humanitarian catastrophe, Jan Egeland warns.

Winter is coming. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people need immediate shelter, warm clothes, and food to survive, Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary-General Jan Egeland said when he visited Kabul on Monday.

I have talked to families who say that they have survived on tea, leftovers, and stale bread, Egeland said.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, more than 664,000 people have been displaced internally in the country since January. Including this increase, the total number of internally displaced persons amounts to 3.5 million people.

Every third inhabitant of Afghanistan is “acutely hungry,” according to the organization.

Quick solutions necessary

“Donors must focus on facilitating quick and effective solutions to deliver emergency care to children, women, and men who simply can’t wait any longer,” Egeland said.

According to the NRC’s figures, 16 million of the country’s estimated 32 million inhabitants depend on humanitarian aid to survive.

Earlier this month, the world community pledged more than USD 1.2 billion, more than NOK 10 billion, to humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

For the past 20 years, the country has been highly dependent on funding from abroad. 75% of the country’s state budget consisted of funds from abroad. 

This aid ceased when the Taliban seized power. The result is now rising unemployment and high levels of poverty.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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