Unprecedented Jump in USD Value Against the Afghan Currency; The Price of What Sin Are the People Paying?

In recent days, the Afghani value has fallen unprecedently against the US dollar. In the Afghan currency market, one US dollar is now exchanged for 81 Afghanis and 60 pol. Over the past three days, one US dollar was exchanged for 82 Afghanis and 10 pol. This figure shows that the devaluation of the Afghani in recent years is unprecedented.

The USD appreciation has affected the lives of various sections of society, especially ordinary people. More and more families live below the poverty line due to lack of work and security.

Ahmad Shah works as a taxi driver in Kabul. He says he can hardly find 200 Afghanis all day. He complains about rising oil and food prices. “In the last few days, the price of a liter of kerosene has risen from 46 Afghanis to 52 Afghanis,” he said. On the one hand, it is difficult to earn money, and on the other hand, sellers are very opportunistic and cruel. As soon as they get a whiff of an opportunity, they double all the rates.”

According to Ahmad Shah, although poverty has made his life unbearable, because he is the only breadwinner of the family, he works as a taxi driver from day to night and provides for his family with this low income.

The Central Bank of Afghanistan, meanwhile, says the government is monitoring all currency fluctuations. Central Bank spokesperson, Esmatullah Kohsar, blamed dollar appreciation for the depreciation of Afghan currency due the political situation and internal insecurity.

According to Mr. Kohhsar, Da Afghanistan Bank, as the Central Bank of Afghanistan, manages the stability of the currency according to the established mechanism and auctions 30 to 50 million dollars three times a week. He added that new plans have been put in place for all transactions in Afghan currency and that these plans will be implemented in the near future.

Meanwhile, Haji Dadgul, deputy head of the Sarai Shahzada Money Changers’ Union, blamed recent insecurity and unhealthy market management for the depreciation of Afghani. He says because people complain about the situation in the country, they convert all their money into dollars. He adds that the amount of dollars put up for sale by the central bank is not enough. He warns that if the security situation continues like this and the foreign exchange market is not well managed, the value of the Afghani will become lower.

Although the Central Bank is confident of controlling currency fluctuations in the country’s market. Nasir Ahmad Nawabi has a grocery store in Pul surkh area of ​​Kabul. “Dollar appreciation has pushed up the prices of imported raw materials, because all merchants’ accounts are in dollars, and all sellers have to buy food from them at the dollar rate, except for soft drinks,” he said.

He says that not only are bulk raw materials now being bought and sold in dollars, but most transactions, such as bid prices and rent for many homes, apartments, offices and private companies, are set in dollars.

However, most families and employees of government offices and private companies earn more in Afghani. The rising value of the dollar allows them to meet their lower needs with the income of the Afghan currency.

Rameen has a restaurant in Kabul. He says his restaurant costs $800 a month. “All our sales and transactions are done in Afghani but the restaurant is rented and purchased in USD,” he said. “If the situation continues like this, we will pay a heavy price.”

Despite rising raw material prices in the market, the municipality says it has no authority to distribute the price list. Maroof Alizi, head of media coordination at Kabul Municipality, says that they are not authorized to distribute tariffs by Kabul Municipality due to the free market economic system, but if prices rise uncontrollably or there is monopoly in this regard, all municipal research teams Investigates the guilds and deals with the violators legally.

Among them, only people make sacrifices in every way. The unhealthy management of the government in various sectors has made the living conditions of the people more difficult with each passing day.