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Afghan purchasing power declines with US freeze on Afghan assets

Residents wait to be hired at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 28, 2021 Photo: Xinhua

“The freezing of Afghan assets in America caused prices to rise in the local market, as the price of a bag of flour (50 kg) was 1,200 afghani (US $ 13) but today it costs 2,300 afghani (US $ 25), “said Noorzada, a resident of Kabul.

Accusing the United States of exacerbating economic woes in Afghanistan, Noorzada said Washington’s dislike of the Taliban government in Kabul has virtually robbed ordinary Afghans of their daily income.

“Usually I work hard every day to increase my income but I can hardly buy a bag of flour once a month, whereas before I took three bags of flour home,” said the 30-year-old man. years.

Residents wait to be hired at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 28, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Residents wait to be hired at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 28, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

After the Taliban takeover in mid-August and the interim government announcement on September 7, the United States froze Afghan assets in American banks after the withdrawal of American troops and diplomats.

Washington is said to have frozen some US $ 9.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets on charges of the presence of terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaida and the radical Islamic State organization, in the torn country. the war.

Rejecting the American accusation, Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the interim Taliban government, stressed that Afghan soil will not be used against any country, including the United States.

An Afghan waits to be hired at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 28, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

An Afghan waits to be hired at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 28, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

Echoing Noorzada’s concerns, Nazir, a Kabul resident, also blamed the United States for soaring prices in Afghan markets, saying Washington’s double standards have caused economic chaos and poverty. growing in the already impoverished country.

“We have no economy, no job and no regular income. In the last few months I was earning 1,500 afghanis a day, but today I can barely earn 400 afghanis a day,” he said. Nazir told Xinhua.

Working as a porter in a local market, Nazir, 18, said that “poverty has taken hold of my life as I earn barely 400 afghanis now, while a 21.5 kg bag of rice was 2 pounds. 000 afghanis a few months ago, but today it is 2,500 afghanis, which exceeds the purchasing power of ordinary people. ”

Economic hardship is palpable all over conflict-torn Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, as many Kabul residents sell their household appliances to survive.

A vendor waits for customers at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 28, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

A vendor waits for customers at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 28, 2021 Photo: Xinhua

The freezing of Afghan assets by the United States, according to the Afghans, left the new administration unable to pay the monthly salaries of government employees and the lack of income has appalled almost all Afghans.

“The prices of basic necessities, especially food, have been rising almost day by day and the reason for the rising inflation is America’s freezing of Afghan assets,” said trader Sayed Abid, 55 years.

According to Abid, 1 liter of gasoline costs 76 afghani, 1 liter of diesel costs 70 afghani and 1 liter of liquid gas costs 90 afghani, and prices will increase as the afghani depreciates against the US dollar. (1 US dollar equals 90 afghani)


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