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Half a million Afghanistan unemployed since Taliban takeover

Kabul, Jan 20 (IANS) The International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced that half a million people in Afghanistan have lost their jobs since the Taliban took over the country last August, adding that women have suffered the most, the media report.

In an assessment report released on Wednesday, the ILO warned of increasing unemployment in the country, adding that if the current trend of unemployment continues then some 900,000 people will lose their jobs by mid-2022, reports TOLO News.

“The contraction – a 14 per cent loss by mid-2022 – reflects workers pushed out of employment due to the change in administration and ensuing economic crisis as well as restrictions on women’s participation in the workplace.”

According to the ILO report, women’s employment has decreased by 16 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, and it could reach 28 per cent by mid-2022.

The Organization added that the political change in Afghanistan has devastated key sectors including agriculture, the civil service and the construction industry, which have led to large-scale job losses.

“The situation in Afghanistan is critical and immediate support for stabilization and recovery is required. While the priority is to meet immediate humanitarian needs, lasting and inclusive recovery will depend on people and communities having access to decent employment, livelihoods and basic services,” said Ramin Behzad, senior coordinator of ILO for Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, economists have said that if the frozen Afghan assets are not released, the country will plunged into a deeper crisis.

“Over 22 million people are struggling with starvation. If the money is not released, it will worsen the catastrophe,” said Abdul Naseer Rishtia, an economist.



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