An estimated 700,000 people have lost their jobs in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, “with the agriculture, civil service, and construction sectors the most severely affected,” according to the latest report by the UN special rapporteur to Afghanistan.
The report, which covers developments in the country between July and December 2022, stated that around two-thirds of households in Afghanistan have acknowledged “difficulties in meeting basic food and non-food needs.”
“[M]assive job losses, business closures, and the reluctance of foreign investors to engage in the [country’s] economy” have had catastrophic impacts on the lives of millions of Afghans, the report said.
Afghanistan’s worsening economic decline—which stood at around 30 to 35 percent in 2021-2022—has further worsened the humanitarian crisis. “This crisis has been exacerbated by the unintended consequences of political cautiousness and overcompliance with [U.S.-imposed] sanctions, despite the humanitarian exemptions afforded by the Security Council,” the 19-page report that was submitted to the UN said.
The report further stated that an “estimated 18.9 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity, a number which is expected to rise to 20 million, and over 90 percent of Afghans are suffering from some form of food insecurity, with single-parent female-headed households and children being disproportionately affected.”
The report also raised concerns about targeted killings of members of the former Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, allegedly by the Taliban. Similar apprehensions have been raised in another report that claims that the Taliban has gained access to biometric data, which they are utilizing in tracking down Afghans who formerly worked with the U.S. government.