Increasing unemployment in Afghanistan has changed to a serious concern among the people in the country as the unemployment has doubled the people’s problems. Current poverty in the country has various factors. For example, increasing unemployment, dependency to foreign aids, unfair distribution of humanitarian aids, continued drought and recent floods are a range of factors that have doubled problems of the country’s population.
With the Islamic Emirate (IEA) takeover in mid-August last year, most international organizations stopped activities. Besides, a range of government institutions as national assembly and ministry of women affairs have been cancelled, which has resulted in increasing unemployment in the country.
Another factor that has doubled unemployment among Afghans is the suspension of most international organizations in the country. A large number of Afghans were working at national and international organizations operating in various provinces of the country. With suspension of most of these organizations the people lost their jobs.
Based on recent report released by the United Nations Development Program, nearly 700,000 jobs have vanished, reeling from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict and drought. Increasing unemployment in the country has cut down the economic development by 20 percent.
In its report, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says a year after the IEA takeover in Afghanistan, the country faces “cascading crises” and a crippled economy that humanitarian aid alone cannot address.
The report calculates that the already-declining licit Afghan economy lost nearly US$5 billion after August 2021 and is reversing “in 12 months what had taken 10 years to accumulate.”
Previously, the World Bank’s report on Afghanistan had said that the country’s economy contracted by 20.7 percent in 2021, adding that the sudden cession of aid led to dramatic drop in public spending and aggregate demand, shrinking household incomes and reducing consumption. The report also said that the country’s unemployment rate started increasing in 2021 and jumped to 13.28 percent.
On the other hand, UNDP has launched, as part of the overall UN response to the crisis in Afghanistan, an area-based approach to development emergency initiatives, known as ABADEI. This means working directly with Afghans in need at the community level through cash-for-work projects, local market stimulation, and livelihood schemes to improve food security.
UNDP will also support a series of programs that facilitate the rebound of private sector and financial services, technical and vocational education, solar power generation, and health systems management and service delivery.
“We are grateful for the $300 million in funding provided for our work on livelihoods as part of the overall crisis response in Afghanistan, but much more is needed for economic recovery,” UNDP Resident Representative Abdallah Al Dardari said. “Afghans are running out of time and resources. Afghanistan needs support from the international community to bring back to life local markets and small businesses which are the backbone of Afghanistan’s economy.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of Afghanistan ministry of economy by pointing to continued efforts of the Islamic Emirate towards creating job opportunities for the people stressed that one of the main goals of the IEA particularly the ministry of economy was to create job, reduce poverty and work for a sustainable economic development of Afghanistan, adding that agriculture, extraction of mines and management of the country’s water would be used for creating jobs for the people.
It is worth mentioning that two decades of heavy dependence on international aid and imports, a lack of industrialization and competitiveness, and limited mobility and connectivity among regions, among other factors, have hindered Afghanistan’s forward momentum.