UN launches funding program to support Afghan economy

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GENEVA, October 21, 2021 (AFP) — The United Nations on Wednesday launched a financing program aimed at injecting liquidity into Afghanistan to avoid the collapse of its economy, mainly through supporting micro-enterprises.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) created this fund, thanks to which governments can now send money to Afghanistan through specific programs set up by the United Nations to support the Afghan economy.

At a press conference in Geneva, the head of the UNDP, Achim Steiner, underlined that the country is not only facing a political turmoil, but “we are also seeing an economic impact”.

The Taliban toppled the US-backed Afghan government in mid-August after twenty years of conflict and established an Islamic emirate.

Since then the country is facing shortage of money. Subject to international sanctions, the Taliban have no money to run a bank and pay salaries. And Washington sealed off the reserves of the Afghan central bank.

The Afghan economy remains precarious, with food prices rising and unemployment soaring.

According to a quick assessment published by the UNDP in early September, about 97% of the country’s population is at risk of extreme poverty if the country’s political and economic woes are not addressed promptly.

In the first year, the mechanism launched by the UNDP is expected to raise about $667 million to help 4.5 million people.

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About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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