Afghans Annual Per Capita Income Could Fall to $350: SIGAR

Amid the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan’s Reconstruction (SIGAR), said that this year the annual per capita income of Afghans is estimated to decrease sharply.

SIGAR in a report said that Afghan per capita income is estimated to have fallen from $650 in 2012 to $500 in 2020, and is expected to drop to $350 by 2022.

“In the worst-case scenario modeled by the Asian Development Bank, unemployment could increase by more than 40% in the short run and household consumption could contract by 44%,” the report said.

The report, quoting UN Development Programme (UNDP) and IMF’s estimates, said Afghanistan’s economy suffered a severe contraction in 2021 up to a 20 to 30 percent drop in GDP. UNDP modeling has estimated that Afghanistan’s nominal GDP could fall from $20 billion in 2020 to $16 billion in the months after the political changes in August 2021. UNDP “warned of further contractions of between 3% and 5% if urgent corrective action was not taken, especially with respect to the employment of women,” the report said.

“When the Islamic Emirate came to power, the products of all domestic industries increased. We prioritized the extraction of mines, and agriculture projects, and increased transit with Central Asia. The system is not broken but it has been sanitized,” said Shafi Azam, head of the economic department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

With the collapse of the former government in mid-August last year followed by the freeze of Afghan assets and the halt to development assistance, Afghanistan faces severe humanitarian and economic challenges.

Abdurrazaq, an employee of the former government who lost his job after the political change, said he is facing severe economic problems.

“My economic status has significantly dropped compared to the republic time. We were working for this soil then, and we are working now, but my economic condition has deteriorated,” he said.

Currently, all development assistance has stopped and only humanitarian aid is coming to the country.