The use of worn-out Afghan currency in the midst of Afghanistan’s financial crisis is an additional problem to the larger issues of the country’s collapsing economy, which are already difficult to deal with.
In an article published by Tolo News, the Afghan people expressed their dissatisfaction with the use of old and damaged banknotes, claiming that their use creates difficulties in conducting business transactions.
A shopkeeper, Samir, told Tolo News that “there is a lot of worn-out currency in the market, particularly the 100, 50, 20 and 10 Afs bills, which are very worn.”
While Asadullah, a Kabul resident, stated, “The government should make an effort to issue currency of high quality.”
Zia, a money exchanger who buys the worn-out currency and then sells it to the government’s central bank, explained his business model as follows: “The bank is adamant about not taking the money away from us. The bank claims that it does not have the necessary funds to purchase the depreciated currency.”
According to The New York Times, Afghanistan is on the verge of famine nearly four months after the Taliban seized power, and aid organizations have now claimed that the Taliban has threatened to kill a million children this winter if the country does not comply with their demands.
Afghanistan, which has suffered from malnutrition for decades, has recently witnessed a worsening hunger crisis as a result of the conflict in neighboring Pakistan.
According to an analysis by the United Nations World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization, an estimated 22.8 million people — more than half the population — are expected to experience potentially life-threatening levels of food insecurity this winter. According to The New York Times, 8.7 million people are on the verge of famine, which is the most severe stage of a food crisis.
Meanwhile, according to a recently published report by the International Crisis Group (ICG), if the international community does not step up economic assistance, more Afghans will die of hunger and starvation in the current crisis than have died in the previous 20 years of fighting.
Hunger and destitution as a result of the Taliban’s takeover of the country “appear poised to kill more Afghans than all of the bombs and bullets of the past two decades,” according to the report.
According to the International Crisis Group (ICG), the Taliban’s inability to run a modern economy, as well as the decision by foreign donors to cut off all but emergency aid, are the primary causes of Afghanistan’s economic and humanitarian catastrophe.