People line up to withdraw money from banks in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 1, 2021. | Photo: STRINGER / Agence EFE
Thousands of Afghans lined up in front of the few bank branches operating in Kabul in an attempt to withdraw money amid a dramatic liquidity crisis generated by restrictions imposed in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power. last year.
“For more than two weeks, I have come to the bank every day. I have 250,000 Afghans in my account (R $ 14,500), but I cannot withdraw them, due to the large number of people who are here. People really are in trouble because of the lack of money, ”a citizen named Mirwan, a resident of the Baghlan area, told Efe.
After traveling more than 200 kilometers to leave the territory of northern Afghanistan and arrive in line at dawn, Mirwan is forced to face a long wait with other people from all over the country, as branches banks located in the interior provinces have suspended their activities. .
“The security guards are always violent and attack people,” the Afghan said.
Another local citizen heard by Efe Abdul Rauf Magal also arrived in the line at dawn, where riots are constant, with shoving and attempts to break into the branches.
“Bank security teams and the Taliban cannot control the crowd. There are gunshots and people are being turned away,” the source reported, while waiting for a chance to withdraw the money.
In addition to the closure of branches in the provinces, in Kabul there is a weekly withdrawal limit of 200 Afghans (R $ 11.64) per person.
This withdrawal ceiling was determined by order of the Afghan State Bank, as explained by an official of a bank branch consulted by the Efe agency, who described the measure as temporary. “
In addition, ATMs are always down for security reasons, as most of the machines are installed inside commercial establishments, which remain with closed doors.
Lack of stability and inflation
In Afghanistan, 33 of 34 provinces took control in a Taliban offensive, which culminated with the invasion of Kabul on August 15 and the flight of the country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, to the United Arab Emirates.
The arrival of the fundamentalist group to power represented a cut in the international aid that was sent to the Central Asian nation, which was totally dependent on this kind of funding, which accounted for 43% of the national GDP, according to the data. from the World Bank. .
This week, the Taliban, which has not yet formed a government, appealed for support from the international community, so that it is possible to reactivate the economy, weakened after two decades of armed conflict.
To this end, the fundamentalist group tries to show that it will guarantee respect for human rights, especially those of women and minorities, will support the exit from the country of all Afghans and foreigners who wish to do so, and will avoid transforming the territory into a base for terrorists.
Meanwhile, the population is still afraid to return to work, especially women, which endangers the income of families. In addition, prices continue to soar, in the food and fuel sector.
In Afghanistan, a third of the population was already at the epicenter of a serious humanitarian crisis, which largely affected children. Access to food is one of the biggest problems, say NGOs operating in the country.
With no money to pay salaries and buy basic items, several health centers also began to shut down after the Taliban took power.
The country’s trained government health minister Wahid Majrooh told Efe there was a crisis in the supply of oxygen and other items used in patients with Covid-19.