The Afghan Taliban announced the establishment of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan"; most of the international reserve assets have been frozen, and economic difficulties have intensified.


  Poverty, famine, and epidemics The Taliban is facing multiple problems

  On August 19, local time, the Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement on social networking sites. On the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from British rule and independence, the Taliban announced the establishment of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.

  Since the occupation of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, the Taliban have repeatedly promised to the outside world a peaceful transition and the formation of a multi-party government.

  On August 17, local time, at the first press conference after the Taliban occupied Kabul, the spokesman of the organization Mujahid said, "We are seriously forming a government and will announce it to the outside world after the formation is completed."

He stated that the Taliban will "form an'Islamic government' with all parties involved."

  No matter what kind of government Afghanistan will usher in, this government must face the country’s severe drought, hunger, epidemic, and poverty.

Due to the prolonged war, the Afghan treasury was empty.

Since the Taliban occupied Kabul, foreign governments and international agencies have frozen Afghanistan’s overseas funds, and international aid agencies have also suspended aid.

  "Transitioning from an armed organization to a government that is responsible and tolerant of multiple political views and lifestyles is not an easy task." Bijeret, a researcher at the independent research organization "Afghanistan Analysis Network", wrote.

  Challenge 1

  Most international reserve assets are frozen

  According to data from the official website of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), as of 2020, 47.3% of Afghanistan’s population is living below the poverty line; in 2019, 34.3% of the working population in Afghanistan has an average daily income of less than US$1.9 (purchasing power parity).

  An overall assessment of Afghanistan’s economic situation as of 2020 published on the World Bank’s official website stated that Afghanistan’s economy is very fragile and relies on international aid, and about 75% of the Afghan government’s public expenditures come from international aid.

  The recent series of economic sanctions against the Taliban may make Afghanistan’s economic problems worse.

  According to the New York Times, Ahmadi, the former Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, stated on the 18th that of the US$9 billion in international reserve assets of the Central Bank, about US$7 billion is in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). The Biden administration has This part of the funds has been frozen.

The remaining part of the international reserve assets in the accounts of some European banks may also be restricted by the so-called "long-arm jurisdiction" of the US government.

  Ahmadi stated through social media that “the funds available to the Taliban may only account for 0.1%-0.2% of Afghanistan’s total international reserves”.

  According to the Xinhua News Agency, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on the 18th that it will temporarily freeze the current value of approximately US$440 million in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) originally scheduled to be issued to Afghanistan on the 23rd.

A spokesperson for the organization said in an email statement that the international community currently lacks clarity in recognizing the Afghan government, "therefore, the country cannot obtain special drawing rights or other resources of the International Monetary Fund."

  The US "Seattle Times" stated that in November last year, more than 60 countries around the world reached an agreement with the Afghan government to provide Afghanistan with US$12 billion in aid funds over the next four years.

In recent days, both Germany and the European Union have indicated that they may not provide the funds to Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban.

  Previously, the Taliban's main source of income also included illegal activities such as drug dealing.

According to a report by the "Voice of Germany", the drug trade accounts for about 60% of its income.

  But at a press conference held on the 17th, Afghan Taliban spokesman Mujahid promised that Afghanistan will not produce any drugs and will be a drug-free country in the future.

This means that if the Taliban keeps their promises, their funding sources will be tested.

  Challenge 2

  14 million people face severe hunger due to food shortage

  In front of the new Afghan government, in addition to complicated financial issues, there are also pressing drought and hunger issues.

  "There are 14 million people in Afghanistan facing severe hunger. This is a humanitarian crisis." said Mary Allen McGrotti, the head of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Afghanistan.

  According to a live broadcast on the "United Nations Network TV" at noon on the 18th, McGrotti said that the current severe drought in Afghanistan, coupled with the social and economic impact of the new crown epidemic, has caused the already severe food shortage problem in Afghanistan to become one. Disaster.

  McGrotty said the drought caused more than 40% of the crop failures in Afghanistan, and the livestock industry was also affected. The war also displaced thousands of Afghans, and "there is an urgent need for food."

  The international organization Save the Children issued a statement on the 18th, saying that it was "very worried" that children in Afghanistan might face severe famine. After the Taliban took over, the international organization has suspended aid work.

  "Even before the Taliban launched the offensive, Afghanistan had the second highest number of people facing hunger in the world," the organization said in a statement. "It is expected that half of Afghanistan’s children under 5 will be severely malnourished this year and require specialized treatment to survive. ."

  Challenge 3

  The health system has been hit hard and the epidemic prevention situation is worrying

  On the 17th, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization said that he was worried about the spread of the new crown epidemic in Afghanistan.

  The British newspaper The Independent reported that after the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, the World Health Organization stated that many Afghans fled to the city a few days ago. The number of new confirmed cases reported here is increasing, and vulnerable groups are in Under the risk of an outbreak.

  Ahmed Al-Mandhari, director of the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, issued a statement saying that he had previously planned to send a medical service team to Afghanistan, but due to sudden changes in the local security situation, this plan was blocked. Set aside.

"There is an urgent need to ensure the continuity of health services across the country (Afghanistan). Delays or interruptions in services will increase the risk of an outbreak and prevent vulnerable groups from receiving critical assistance."

  Mandari called on the Taliban and Afghan parties to protect health workers and health infrastructure. “Months of violence have dealt a heavy blow to Afghanistan’s fragile health system. The country has already faced a shortage of basic medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. ."

  The latest epidemic statistics from Johns Hopkins University show that as of the 19th, the cumulative number of confirmed cases in Afghanistan reached 152363, and the number of deaths reached 7043.

Currently, only 0.58% of the population in Afghanistan has completed the entire vaccination process.

According to the United Nations, due to the low detection rate and lack of national death registrations, “the total number of confirmed cases and deaths of the new crown in Afghanistan may be underestimated”.

  Challenge 4

  The situation of anti-demonstrations broke out in many places is unclear

  Zhu Yongbiao, director of the Afghanistan Research Center of Lanzhou University, said in an interview with a reporter from the Beijing News that Afghanistan has a large number of warlords and local forces, and the Taliban itself is relatively loose in structure and has many organizations and factions. This leads to the possibility of some uncontrollable events in Afghanistan. Situation.

  On the 17th, the former Vice President of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh declared himself a "legitimate interim president."

He said he is uniting with other military leaders to oppose the Taliban.

"Join the resistance movement," Saleh said through social media, "under no circumstances will he bow his head to the Taliban."

  According to the Hindu, Saleh seems to be gathering militias and guerrillas against the Taliban, and has united with the resistance army led by Ahmed Masood.

  Ahmed Masood is the son of a well-known anti-Taliban military leader in Afghanistan’s history.

Masood wrote in the "Washington Post" that: "We have some former Afghan regular army soldiers who hate the commander's surrender. Some former Afghan special forces members have also joined us."

  According to the Russian Satellite News Agency, on August 17, local time, Saleh’s army and the Taliban were fighting fiercely near the Panjshir Gorge.

  In addition, demonstrations against the Taliban broke out in many places in Afghanistan.

According to the "Washington Post" report, in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, dozens of people marched on the 18th holding the Afghan flag in black, red and green.

Videos circulating on social media showed that protesters in Khost province in the southeast were also marching with the Afghan flag.

  Former President Ghani, who had fled Afghanistan before, gave a video speech via social media on August 18.

According to Xinhua News Agency, Ghani expressed his support for the Taliban to hold negotiations with former Afghan President Karzai and other Afghan government officials, hoping that the negotiations will be successful.

Currently negotiating with relevant parties to return to Afghanistan to continue to serve the Afghan people.

  In addition, it remains to be seen whether the international community recognizes the new Afghan government.

  The Beijing News trainee reporter Chen Yikai Xiang Chenyu

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