Kabul [Afghanistan], November 24 (ANI): Amid the snowy season that requires additional funds to warm up living space, Afghan families are forced to sell their belongings in order to make ends meet.
According to Martin Schuepp, Director of Operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an average Afghan family can only afford 82 per cent of basic food commodities, expressing concerns over the economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, reported The Khaama Press.
The ongoing political crisis since the takeover last August has "hit hard" private sectors in Afghanistan, where businesses were halted and put to uncertainty, according to the latest survey conducted by the World Bank.
Due to a shortage in sales, private companies have laid off more than half of their employees on average, a rising concern on the unemployment rate in the country, reported Khaama Press.
"We see more and more Afghans who are selling their belongings in order to make ends meet, and where they have to buy materials for heating and at the same time have to face increasing costs for food and other essential items," said Schuepp.
Meanwhile, local shopkeepers and retailers expressed concern over decreasing number of customers, which they believe is due to financial challenges families are facing.
"The unemployment has risen and the customers have dropped," said Abdul Alim, a shopkeeper, told Tolo News.
"When there is no money, of course the customers drop," he added.
"Poverty and unemployment have increased in society. The people don't purchase anything else but essential materials," said Almas, another shopkeeper.
Earlier, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said more than half of Afghanistan's population is dependent on life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection, suggesting one in two people do not know where their next meal comes from.
The commission said it provides direct aid to the vulnerable people in Afghanistan, including the provision of healthy centres and water projects that are the primary needs of the citizens.
"Afghanistan's people cannot be left behind. We provide direct aid to the most vulnerable," UNHCR Canberra wrote in a tweet. "We build schools, health centres, water projects and roads to provide conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and displaced people when they feel ready."
"The majority of surveyed businesses reported a drastic decline in consumer demand for their products and services and have been forced to scale back operations, reduce investments, and lay off employees," the report said.
According to the survey, small enterprises have been hit hardest with about 38 per cent of them seizing operations, compared to a 25 per cent among medium and 35 per cent among large businesses in the country, reported Khaama Press.
The finding shows that Afghan domestic inputs have become more expensive and difficult to obtain due to supplier closure and supply chain disruptions, leading to price inflation since the beginning of political uncertainty.
In August 15, 2021, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, rolling back the foremost achievements of the post-2001 reconstruction efforts on the overall growth of the country. (ANI)