UNDP official visiting Kabul highlights need for revived economy

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A United Nations Development Program (UNDP) official said in order to address the humanitarian and economic challenges in Afghanistan, it is necessary to invest in reviving Afghanistan’s economy.

Achim Steiner, Director General of UNDP, who recently came to Afghanistan, in a meeting in Kabul on Tuesday said it is necessary to maintain the international community’s interest in Afghanistan in order to provide humanitarian assistance to the country.

“The answer to these challenges is also to invest in the recovery of Afghanistan’s economy. That means recognizing that the people of this country need urgent support to also be able to earn their own livelihoods, to have income to be able to buy food, to send children to school, to pay medical bills,” he said.

Steiner said several factors have contributed to the economic freefall of the country which includes not only “the political turmoil, but also Covid-19 and a drought (that) has created an economic reality in Afghanistan today that is essentially turning more and more people into poor people.”

Steiner said investment in Afghanistan’s economy is necessary to stabilize the economic freefall, otherwise, based on UNDP’s earlier reporting, about 90 percent of Afghanistan’s population will live below the poverty line by the end of the year.

Steiner, during his visit to Afghanistan, met with women entrepreneurs, media officials and private sector figures. He said women entrepreneurs should be supported because they not only feed their own families, but also provide jobs for other women. Officials from the private sector said they discussed ways of addressing economic challenges with Steiner.

“We hope that the mistakes of the past should not repeated after this. We do not need short-term projects and support, we need sustainable development,” said Shirbaz Kaminzada, head of the Chamber of Industries and Mines. “We discussed the restrictions on media and media outlets’ economic problems. They (Steiner) announced their support to media in Afghanistan and to the freedom of speech in total,” Hujatuallah Mujaddedi, head of Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association said.—Telenews

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