Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis cannot be effectively addressed unless the United States and other governments ease restrictions on the country’s banking sector to facilitate legitimate economic activity and humanitarian aid,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Thursday.
It said that the US air strike killing the al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri should not derail ongoing discussions between the US and Afghanistan to urgently reach an agreement allowing ordinary Afghans to engage in legitimate commercial activity.
“Afghanistan’s intensifying hunger and health crisis is urgent and at its root a banking crisis,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Regardless of the Taliban’s (IEA) status or credibility with outside governments, international economic restrictions are still driving the country’s catastrophe and hurting the Afghan people.”
Despite actions by the US and others to license banking transactions with Afghan entities, Afghanistan’s central bank remains unable to access its foreign currency reserves or process or receive most international transactions. As a result, the country continues to suffer from a major liquidity crisis and lack of banknotes, HRW noted.
Businesses, humanitarian groups, and private banks continue to report extensive restrictions on their operational capacities. At the same time, because outside donors have severely cut funding to support Afghanistan health, education, and other essential sectors, millions of Afghans have lost their incomes, according to HRW.
Overall, more than 90 percent of Afghans have been suffering from some form of food insecurity since last August, skipping meals or whole days of eating and engaging in extreme coping mechanisms to pay for food, including sending children to work, HRW said.
“Importers are struggling to pay for goods, humanitarian groups are facing problems with basic operations, and the Afghan diaspora can’t send enough money to their relatives and friends,” Sifton said. “Millions of hungry Afghans are experiencing the abysmal reality of seeing food at the market but being unable to purchase it.”
Medical supply factory worth $25 million inaugurated in Kabul
A plasma volume expander producing factory with an investment of $25 million has been inaugurated in Afghan capital Kabul, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said on Monday.
TJL Pharmaceutical factory, which was built in Pul-i-Charkhi Industrial Park, has the capacity to produce 110,000 bags of different types of plasma volume expander every 24 hours. This factory has provided employment for more than 1,000 people.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Qudratullah Jamal said: “The private sector has played a very important role in the prosperity of the country and it creates job opportunities for our youths.”
He also asked the people to use domestic products for the development of the country’s industry.
Meanwhile, the industrialists also asked the commerce ministry to pay attention to the distribution of land to the industrialists, the elimination of power outages in industrial parks, and the increase of import tariffs on materials in which Afghanistan is self-sufficient or is becoming self-sufficient.
Plasma volume expanders (PVEs) are fluids given intravenously to increase or retain the volume of fluid in the circulatory system.
Afghanistan exports 150 tons of dried tomatoes to Europe
State-owned corporation Spinzar has dispatched 150 tons of dried tomatoes in the first such consignment to Europe, officials announced Sunday.
“This is a great achievement of the Islamic Emirate which exports vegetables from Afghanistan to European countries,” Abdul Hamid Akhundzada, head of the company said as quoted in a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance.
Spinzar company resumed operations around a year ago after decades of closure.
It also produces and processes cotton, cottonseed oil, sesame and tissue paper.
Members of private security meet with Kazakhstan counterparts
A bilateral meeting between members of the private sectors of Afghanistan and Kazakhstan was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Tuesday with the aim of attracting more investment in the country.
At the meeting, representatives of the private sector of the two countries discussed investments in various sectors including the non-alcoholic beverages sector, gemstones stones and minerals, chemical fertilizers, car batteries, clothing and textiles, petroleum products, flour and wheat, the ministry said.
They also discussed tourism, investment in restaurant businesses and food, the ministry added.
Furthermore, the businessmen and investors of Kazakhstan thanked the Afghans for their hospitality and described Afghanistan as a safe place and a suitable environment for business and investment.
Representatives of the private sector of Kazakhstan spoke about holding exhibitions in Kabul, Balkh and Kandahar provinces, adding that in the near future they plan to hold exhibitions of Afghan manufacturing industries in Kazakhstan and an exhibition of Kazakh products in Afghanistan.
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