After August 15, 2021, the Taliban regained control over Afghanistan, which is officially referred to as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”. The Taliban are the supreme authority, the court, and the political establishment of the country.
There are no political parties in Afghanistan. There is simply no need for them yet. As for civil society organizations, their number looks solid — 1,818 local and 268 foreign NGOs. Their main profile is organizing charity events, implementing educational and medical programs and international volunteer projects.
The educational system destroyed as a result of the war, and it will take a considerable amount of effort, money, and time to restore the performance of at least some secondary and higher educational institutions. It is worth recalling that there were about 18,000 secondary schools and 63 universities in the country as a whole.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic did not spare Afghanistan. Before the Taliban came to power, the World Bank was financing the Afghan health system and implementing a special project to fight the pandemic called SEHATMANDI. The project implemented by local and international NGOs, which received direct funds from the WB. It should be noted that the WB funds only the pandemic program and not the Afghan health system.
Three types of vaccines (Sino Pharm from China, Johnson & Johnson from the United States, and COVIDSHEILFD from India) are being administered.
The latest statistics for the pandemic in Afghanistan are: 156,000 infected, 7,284 deaths, 2,369,625 vaccinated. (The official statistics are publicly available online, on the website of the Afghan Ministry of Health.) (https://moph-dw.gov.af).
These figures are rather surprising, mostly because vaccination refuse for religious reasons, and, at the same time, the population does not observe basic preventive precautions (keeping a distance in crowded places, not using masks and other hygienic measures).
The situation greatly aggravated by total unemployment, which already occupied one-fourth of Afghanistan’s population. There were about 300,000 military and police personnel and about the same number of other civil servants in the civil service.
Regarding medicines, drug companies have now almost closed due to a lack of supplies in the country and because of closer borders with neighboring countries.
Most imported goods for Afghanistan are oil, machinery and equipment, raw materials and food products, especially from neighboring countries (India, China, Pakistan, and Iran).
Afghanistan is a country that has depended almost entirely on foreign powers. The U.S. in the first place, and mostly over the past 20 years. 75% of the country’s budget has been supplemented by the United States. At present, due to sanctions against Afghanistan, the World Bank has closed all its funds for Afghanistan (about 1.9 billion dollars) and the country is sinking deeper into crisis every day. Agriculture is the main source of income for the population and its sustenance, but farmers are afraid to go out to the fields since the changes of the government, so food shortages are increasing as well as food prices. The whole economy is on hold. The most traded currency was and remains the U.S. dollar which currently has an exchange rate of 90 AFG to 1 U.S. dollar and has been falling rapidly since late October.
The population of Afghanistan is cautious about cryptocurrency, and it is not only practically, but even theoretically has not been used in the business life of the country.
Concerning access to the Internet: the number of users has increased significantly compared to last year (this, despite not very low prices). Most people use smartphones. Although, the speed of the Internet is very low (there is a 4G connection, but its real speed is 3G).
Unfortunately, the war is still making its presence felt: Panjshire province continues to confront the Taliban. The resistance groups are, the fighters of former First Vice President Amrullah Saleh.
Afghans have high hopes for 2022. We will regularly monitor the approach of promising changes.
Report provided by:
ESLGeorgia press bureau in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Reporter: Zakiullah Aslamy