UN : 97% Afghanistan could go into poverty soon

UN : 97% Afghanistan could go into poverty soon

UN : 97% Afghanistan could go into poverty soon

As much as 97 per cent of Afghanistan’s population is at risk of sinking below the poverty line unless a response to the country’s political and economic crises is urgently launched, according to a rapid appraisal released by the United Nations Development Programme.

The study, which analysed four potential scenarios of escalating intensity and isolation, indicated that real GDP could contract by as much as 13.2 per cent, leading to an increase in the poverty rate of up to 25 percentage points, the UNDP said.

“The health status of much of the population, already compounded by Covid-19, is also of immediate concern. These ‘life shocks’ are felt hardest in poor urban and rural communities, where the most vulnerable are facing the unenviable choice of either finding a way to sustain their livelihoods while remaining in place or joining the large numbers already displaced.”

The economic challenges are steep. Most Afghans live on less than $2 a day, 80% of the country’s budget has been covered by international funds over the past 20 years, and no industries of note have emerged to provide employment to a mostly young population.

Afghanistan is going through one of its biggest-ever crises after the Taliban seized power last month. The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away.

Now, the Taliban has formed its government assurancing they would protect women’s rights and resume the functioning of schools and colleges.