Taliban Foreign Minister: No economic crisis in Afghanistan

The Taliban’s Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, has slammed reports about the ongoing economic crisis in Afghanistan as “propaganda“, claiming that the economy has drastically grown since the group’s retaking of power.

However, Muttaqi’s claims starkly contradict international reports on a looming economic crisis in the country, coupled with humanitarian and human rights crises.

A recent report, “Afghanistan Socio-Economic Outlook 2023”, by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) details how the country’s economic output collapsed by 20.7% following the Taliban’s return to power.

The report reveals that despite little signs of recovery, the GDP is estimated to have further declined by 3.6% in 2022 while Afghanistan remains among the poorest countries in the world.

The report finds that the number of people living in poverty skyrocketed from 19 million in 2020 to 34 million in 2022.

The UNDP Resident Representative in Afghanistan, Abdallah Al Dardari, stated that if it was not for the sustained inflow of foreign aid, $3.7 billion in 2022, the country’s economy would have come to a “total” collapse.

The report suggests “grim” prospects for the country’s economy which has been significantly impacted by a string of repressive Taliban bans on women and girls.