Citizens Describe Latest World Bank Report on Afghanistan’s Economic Situation As Biased

The latest World Bank report on the economic situation of Taliban-run Afghanistan published on January 25, 2023, spiked mixed reactions among citizens. Citizens have described the World Bank assessment as false and contrary to the existing realities in Afghanistan.

The World Bank has delivered its report on Afghanistan’s economy in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022, citing high exports, a stable exchange rate and strong revenue collection under the Taliban.

The report stands in contrast to reports from UN agencies, NGOs, media outlets and existing facts of inevitable hunger throughout Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of the country.

On Saturday, January 28, citizens, in their comments on the World Bank report on social media, said that this report is not based on facts and they do not know on what indicators the World Bank has prepared its report.

“This report is completely false,” said a Facebook user, Nailufar Nawa. “5 people in my family were working before August 2021, but all of them have become unemployed now. In 17 months or so, there was no gold left in the house, we sold it all and bought food,” she added.

“7 KG of onion is 420 AFG, flour bag is bought at 2500 AFG, gas is sold at 80 AFG, one liter of diesel at the petrol pumps is sold at 92 AFG, [if previously] 5 children was working on streets, now there are 80 children; I wonder how the economic situation has improved,” another user sarcastically said.

Omar Omar, complained about the rising unemployment rate in the country, saying that “I have not found a single peny in the last 17 months. I used up everything I had. Most people in Afghanistan are like me.”

Another person, apparently a shopkeeper, complained about the increase in taxes on his business, saying that he used to pay 5,000 AFG in taxes every year and this year he paid 24,000 AFG in taxes to the Taliban.

According to the World Bank report, the consumer price index (CPI) inflation [in Afghanistan] continues its downward trend while food and non-food items remain widely available and civil servants’ salaries are reported to be paid on time for both men and women. The report also revealed that export performance remains strong and the Bank financed Health Emergency Response project provides critical mother & child related health services.

The exchange rate, according to the World Bank, remains substantially stable against major currencies.

The Taliban have widely welcomed the newest World Bank report on the economic conditions of Afghanistan.

Currently, $1 is exchanged for 89.50 AFG in Afghanistan’s currency market, and according to the citizens, the price of food has increased unprecedentedly, so that people cannot afford to buy basic food and non-food items.