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Afghanistan central bank raises limit on bank withdrawals to $400 a week

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(Last Updated On: November 3, 2021)

Afghanistan’s central bank has eased restrictions on bank withdrawals, lifting the maximum to $400 from dollar-denominated accounts or 30,000 Afghanis a week from the previous limit of $200 or 20,000 Afghanis, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The change, which sets a monthly limit on withdrawals of $1,200 or 100,000 Afghani, came amid growing economic hardship that has left millions in Afghanistan without work and facing hunger.

Even those with savings have struggled to pay for food and household necessities because of the strict limits on withdrawals that were brought in to prevent a run on banks.

Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves have been restricted following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) take over in August, severely limiting the new administration’s room for financial manoeuvre.

Some $9.5 billion in central bank reserves remain blocked outside the country and international support given to the previous government has dried up.

This week, the IEA banned the use of foreign currencies for transactions like buying a car or a house, saying all contracts must be denominated in the Afghani currency.

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International community must not forget Afghans: refugees minister

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

The international community should not forget the Afghan people and should not politicize the humanitarian issue, the country’s minister of refugees and repatriation said on Sunday.

“We ask all the countries of the world to put politics, formalities and military issues aside. Immigration has its own rules. The ministry of refugees was created to solve the problems of refugees,” Khalil-ur-Rahman Haqqani said in an aid distribution ceremony in Kabul.

He noted that now that peace prevails throughout Afghanistan, the international community should cooperate with them in returning Afghan refugees instead of forcing Afghans to migrate.

“The international community should provide livelihoods and transportation facilities. The international community should not forget the people of Afghanistan,” Haqqani said.

In Afghanistan, many families struggle with poverty, so women and men stand in long queues to receive aid.

Among the needy women, there are also those who have even been forced to give their children to others out of poverty.

“I gave my daughter to my sister out of necessity. I could not afford bread and clothes for her,” Gulnar, one of the needy women said.

“My husband is jobless. We are four in our family,” Shakiba, another woman said.

Although aid is a short term solution to helping the needy, officials have called for large, sustainable programs in order to eradicate poverty.

“Ten aid items will be distributed. These materials are enough for a family of five to seven people for three months. We have also considered nutritional balance. For example, this aid includes flour, rice, dal, sugar, tea and salt,” said Fariduddin Nouri, head of Women for Afghan Women NGO.

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Afghanistan, Pakistan set up task team for cross-border movement

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has announced that a joint committee will be established between the consular section of the ministry and the Pakistani embassy in Kabul in order to facilitate the movement of nationals between the two countries.

According to the ministry, an agreement was reached on the formation of this committee on Saturday in a meeting between Amir Khan Muttaqi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the IEA and Obaid ur Rehman Nizamani, Chargé d’Affaires of the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul.

In this announcement, which was published on the Twitter page of Hafiz Zia Ahmad, the deputy spokesman of the foreign ministry, it is stated that an agreement was reached on the creation of this committee at the “request and insistence” of the foreign minister.

Ahmad added that the charge d’affaires of the Pakistani embassy requested an extended visa period for Pakistani students who come to Afghanistan to study.

According to the Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Muttaqi has “assured” the charge d’affaires of the IEA’s cooperation in this regard.

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Afghanistan hit by magnitude-5.2 earthquake

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2023)

A magnitude-5.2 earthquake occurred in northeastern Afghanistan at 10:19 on Sunday, with it’s epicenter 36 km southeast of Jurm.

The quake was felt across the region including parts of India, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan.

There have been no initial reports of damage or casualties as a result of the earthquake.

However, it could take several hours until authorities can conduct comprehensive damage assessments, especially in remote areas.

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