#AfghanistanEconomy; #UNDP; #MobilizingResources; #EconomicCrisis; #HumanitarianAid

New York/Canadian-Media: Afghanistan’s economy is imploding, with all but three percent of households expected to fall below the poverty line in coming months, the UN said on Thursday.

Conflict and insecurity in Afghanistan have left children at greater risk than ever. Image credit: © UNICEF/Shehzad Noorani

To help ordinary Afghans, the UN Development Program (UNDP) has announced the launch of a “people’s economy” fund, to provide desperately needed access to cash.

The fund will tap into donations frozen since the Taliban takeover in August. Germany has already pledged $58 million of the more than $660 million required over the next 12 months, UNDP chief, Achim Steiner, told journalists in Geneva.

“There are 38 million people who cannot be kept alive just from the outside”, he said. “We have to step in, we have to stabilize a ‘people’s economy’ and in addition to saving lives, we also have to save livelihoods.

“Because otherwise, we will indeed confront a scenario through this winter and into next year where millions and millions of Afghans are simply unable to stay on their land, in their homes, in their villages and survive.”

Mobilizing resources

​UNDP is now in touch with other donors to mobilise resources, Mr. Steiner added.

“Discussions over the last few weeks have focused on how we do find a way to be able to mobilise these resources in view of the economic implosion that is now unfolding and the international community’s repeated commitment not to abandon the people of Afghanistan”.

Prevent total ‘crash’

Last week UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the world to take action during a “make or break” moment for the country. While reiterating that “humanitarian assistance saves lives”, the UN chief warned that “it will not solve the problem if the economy of Afghanistan collapses”.

The fund is part of a new program for the country called ABADEI, which denotes community resilience.
It’s designed to contribute to preventing a humanitarian catastrophe and the country’s economy from “completely crashing” by supporting the most vulnerable populations and collapsing micro-businesses in…

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Asha Bajaj

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