Afghanistan’s GDP likely to shrink by 20 pc

Insight Online News

Kabul, Dec 3 : The value of Afghanistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is forecast to likely contract further by several billions, as per a UN body report.

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), “Annual per capita income had declined from $650 in 2012 to $508 in 2020 and is expected to drop precipitously to $350 next year.”

A further decline to 30 per cent ($14 billion) was possible if “urgent corrective” steps were not taken, the report said.

“Five per cent of GDP is lost when women face restrictions to work.

“Failing to invest in half of the country’s human capital — in girls’ education will have dire socio-economic consequences for years to come,” the report said.

Responding to the report, the Taliban government said presence of women would be significant to improve the economy of the country.

“Soon, women’s presence will be expanded. I don’t think the economy of the country will face any challenge in this regard. Afghan women will be provided with better opportunities,” Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Taliban government was quoted by TOLOnews as saying.

“This new socio-economic assessment on Afghanistan estimates that restricting women from working could result in an immediate economic loss of up to US$1 billion – or up to five per cent of the country’s GDP,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.

“Not only is this a loss the country can ill afford but we call on the de facto authorities to uphold the rights of women and girls, including the right to learn and to work,” Steiner said.

Economists warned that the decline of GDP would affect the country in a variety of ways.

“When we don’t have domestic products. It will increase the rate of unemployment. The trade balance will be negative — it means the rate of import will be higher than the rate of export,” TOLO quoted Erj Faqiri, an economist, as saying.

UNIINDIA

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