How did Afghanistan's note become the mos Powerful Currency in the World Today?

How did Afghanistan's note become the mos

Powerful Currency in the World Today?

Afghanistan's Astonishing Currency Ascent Amid Challenging Times

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In an astonishing turn of events, Afghanistan's currency, the Afghani, emerged as the world's top-performing currency during the September quarter. This surprising surge raises intriguing questions about how such an achievement transpired under the rule of the Taliban. It sheds light on the intricate economic dynamics of a nation grappling with serious human rights concerns and global isolation.

How did Afghanistan's note become the most powerful currency in the world today?-

Unraveling the Afghani's Remarkable Surge

Over the course of the September quarter, the Afghani experienced a remarkable 9 percent surge in value, outperforming even heavyweight currencies. This unexpected ascent can be attributed to two pivotal factors:

1. Influx of Humanitarian Aid: Afghanistan witnessed a substantial inflow of humanitarian aid, providing a much-needed economic boost.

2. Increased Trade Activities: Trade interactions with neighboring Asian countries played a pivotal role in reinforcing the Afghani's value on the global stage.

Taliban's Strategic Economic Measures

In their endeavor to assert control over the nation's economy and currency, the Taliban implemented a series of strategic measures:

Prohibition of Foreign Currencies: The Taliban imposed a ban on the use of US dollars and Pakistani rupees in local transactions, with the aim of solidifying the Afghani's status as the primary currency.

Stringent Capital Outflow Restrictions: To curb capital flight, the regime introduced stringent limitations on the outflow of US dollars from Afghanistan.

Criminalization of Online Currency Trading: The Taliban went to great lengths by criminalizing online currency trading, imposing severe penalties, including imprisonment, for those who violated this prohibition.

Currency Gains Amid Lingering Poverty

While the Afghani's success is undeniable, Afghanistan remains entrenched in persistent poverty and faces a distressing human rights situation. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the economic outlook for 2023 remains exceptionally challenging. Recent restrictions on women's access to education and employment may further diminish international aid, exacerbating economic hardships.

The report forecasts a modest real GDP growth of 1.3 percent in 2023 and 0.4 percent in 2024, with a decline in GDP per capita from US$359 in 2022 to US$345 in 2024. Such a trajectory threatens to prolong extreme poverty for decades should international aid falter during this critical period.

Afghanistan's Isolation and Economic Struggles

Afghanistan's isolation from the global financial system, driven by international sanctions, is glaringly evident in a recent World Bank report:

High Unemployment: The nation grapples with soaring unemployment rates, exacerbating economic challenges.

Household Hardships: Approximately two-thirds of households struggle to meet basic needs, highlighting the dire economic situation.

Inflation to Deflation: Afghanistan has transitioned from inflation to deflation, further complicating economic stability.

Surviving on Humanitarian Aid

To alleviate economic hardships, the United Nations has initiated regular shipments of US dollars, totaling up to $40 million. This aid is aimed at supporting impoverished Afghans over an extended period, commencing from the end of 2021.

The Vital Role of "Sarrafs"

In the current financial landscape, local money changers, known as "sarraf," play a pivotal role in facilitating foreign currency exchanges. These enterprising individuals operate market stalls and businesses across Afghanistan. Notably, Sarai Shahzada, an open-air market in Kabul, serves as Afghanistan's de facto financial center, facilitating daily exchanges totaling tens of millions of dollars. Remarkably, there are currently no trading restrictions in place.

Due to financial sanctions, almost all remittances to Afghanistan rely on the Hawala money transfer system, upon which sarrafs heavily depend.

An Uncertain Future

The United Nations estimates that Afghanistan requires approximately $3.2 billion in assistance this year, yet only $1.1 billion has been provided, highlighting a significant funding gap.

Last year, the United Nations allocated approximately $4 billion to address the critical hunger faced by 41 million people in Afghanistan.

The unexpected rise of Afghanistan's currency underscores a story of resilience amidst adversity. While the Afghani shines on the global stage with its remarkable performance, the nation confronts an array of formidable challenges on its path towards stability and prosperity.



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