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Afghan economy gets $32 million cash boost in aid funding

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(Last Updated On: January 11, 2022)

Afghanistan’s Central Bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), took delivery on Monday of $32 million of funds in aid and transferred it immediately to Afghanistan International Bank (AIB).

In a series of tweets, the central bank welcomed the injection of cash into the economy and said: “The transit of the aforesaid shipment from the airport to the Afghanistan International Bank was facilitated by Da Afghanistan Bank.

“Da Afghanistan Bank will appreciate any humanitarian action that leads to the introduction of currency and assistance to the poor sections of society, and will do its part effectively,” DAB said.

The previous shipment of $19.2 million was delivered in December.

On December 22, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution clearing the way for aid to reach Afghans in desperate need of basic support.

At the time Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, described the Council’s passage of the resolution as “evidence of how seriously member states take the shocking levels of need and suffering in the country.”

The adoption followed months of discussions in the Council and broader international community about how to stave off economic collapse in Afghanistan following the country’s takeover by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) in August and the subsequent freezing by Western countries of billions of dollars used by the previous government to ensure the provision of basic services.

Griffiths has said that humanitarian operations in Afghanistan are set to be the largest anywhere in the world in 2022, reaching some 22 million people.

The UN estimates that $2 billion will be needed to lift the incomes of all people up to the poverty line.

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Central Bank says ATM to get operational in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 14, 2022)

Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank of Afghanistan), said Thursday, said that Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services by commercial banks will be resumed in the country.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Da Afghanistan Bank stated that the decision was made after a series of discussions with commercial banks and the union of banks of the country.

The ATM services of banks were stalled after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) regained power on August 15 last year.

According to the statement, the ATMs will be available at specific locations for the customers.

“Da Afghanistan Bank is striving to return banking sector to normal and reactivating the ATMs is a good news [for people] and [Da Afghanistan Bank] is trying to bring further facilities to the people.” Reads the statement.

Da Afghanistan Bank, so far, has not disclosed the amount of money people can withdraw from the ATMs.

Currently, people can withdraw up to $400 from dollar-denominated accounts or 30,000 Afghanis a week from the previous limit of $200 or 20,000 Afghanis.

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Afghan carpetmakers raise concerns over shortage of wool due to smuggling

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(Last Updated On: January 14, 2022)

Afghanistan’s National Union of Carpet Manufacturers raised concerns on Thursday around the smuggling of woolen fleece from sheep into other countries, which has led to a shortage of the raw material for Afghan carpet weavers.

Afghan carpet producers said that farmers in Ghazni, Zabul, Farah, Kandahar, and Helmand provinces are harvesting the fleece and then smuggling it into other countries.

According to the union, they have as a result been forced to import Iraqi and Saudi yarn to use in the local carpet industry.

“Our (woollen) fleece is being smuggled to Pakistan and India, but we have to import yarn from Iraq and Saudi Arabia,” said Mohammad Naeemzada, on carpetmaker.

“The price of one square meter of carpet has increased by 600 AFN. Because we import yarn from other countries, due to smuggling of our own fleece,” said Noor Ahmad Noori, the head of the Afghan carpet producers union.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) meanwhile said that they have also asked all customs offices at border points to clamp down on people exporting the raw material.

The spokesman for the MoF Ahmad Wali Haqmal said: “The Islamic Emirate needs time, the process [to prevent smuggling] needs time. We will solve the problems, and will prevent smuggling.”

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Uzbekistan restores electricity to Afghanistan after fixing power plant problem

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(Last Updated On: January 13, 2022)

Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) said the electricity supply from Uzbekistan has returned to normal after output fell by 60% due to technical problems.

The power supply company said in a statement early Thursday that the problem at a power station in Uzbekistan has now been resolved and that electricity supply to Afghanistan has been restored.

Two days ago, Uzbekistan was forced to cut supply by 60%, which left large parts of Afghanistan without power.

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