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Afghan markets mired with high prices despite rise of national currency value

ANI | Updated: Dec 19, 2021 18:16 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], December 19 (ANI): The US dollar has depreciated against Afghanistan's national currency, from 130 afghanis days ago to 98 afghanis on Sunday, according to Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), but the price of basic goods and foods still remained high.
"I face a lot of problems at home, but when I visit local bazaars I face much bigger problems including the high price of basic goods and foodstuff. The price of essential goods is doubled in comparison with a month ago," Sayyed Mohammad, a resident from northern Jawzjan province said, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
He said the prices of goods skyrocketed following a sharp decline of afghani value early this week. "The rate of foreign currencies has dropped in recent days, but the price of food, gas and fuel, as well as car rent, did not drop so far."
Since the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in mid-August and the formation of the Taliban-led caretaker government in September, the country has faced economic problems.
Basic services in Afghanistan are collapsing while food and other life-saving aid are about to run out.
The situation worsened following the freezing of over nine billion US dollars of DAB, the country's central bank, assets by the United States as well as a halt of funds by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"We are facing a major economic crisis and the reason behind the crisis is the freeze of Afghanistan's assets by the United States, I came to Kabul to withdraw my savings from a private bank after I failed to get money in my hometown, however, I failed to collect money despite wasting time and waiting for days," Mohammad said, Xinhua reported.
"If the US does not return our assets, Afghans will face a humanitarian catastrophe soon," he said, it added.
The Taliban have repeatedly called upon the United States to unfreeze assets with aid agencies warning of acute food shortages for more than 22 million Afghans in the coming winter.
"I have been trying to get my salary for two weeks after a government announcement. There is uncertainty in banks around the country, we cannot get our savings or salaries from our own accounts," Xinhua quoting Mohammad Sharif, a civil servant reported as saying.
The majority of some 4,00,000 state employees have only received wages of two months since July. The Taliban government has announced that civil servant can receive their salaries, however, problems and crises in the banks remained a hurdle for servants to get salary on time, according to Sharif.
"The government is facing a financial crisis amid a decline in revenue and it is still unable to pay the salaries of the several remaining months. On one side, business owners have increased the prices of their goods because foreign currencies are rising quickly. On the other side, most Afghans have so little in their wallets to buy food and firewood as the winter is coming," he said.
The recent crisis has forced many Afghans to flee the country, but the Taliban officials have been trying to convince the people to stay, promising them that the challenges will be solved in near future, according to Xinhua. (ANI)