If Not War, Unemployment Will Force Educated Afghans to Flee the Country

Hussain Ali Haidari

Unemployment is the biggest challenge the Taliban government has to face, according to Ahmad Salimyar. He adds that most working men and women are now unemployed. According to him, more people will flee the country if the Taliban do not create jobs for them.

After the fall of Kabul, he took refuge in Pakistan. Now, he is indecisive and cannot imagine a certain future. He is tackling with difficulties these days. Ahmad Salimyar was an instructor at a private university before Kabul fell to the Taliban. When the universities closed, he chose to go to Pakistan instead of being unemployment.

“If unemployment rises, theft and murder will increase,” Salimyar said. “The number of thieves has already increased these days. People expected the Taliban to stop the thieves, but they did not succeed. I am absolutely convinced that if poverty increases, theft will not decrease as much.”

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban and Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, says that he understands the people’s concerns and that they will make progress soon. Mr. Mujahid has said that businesses will invest in the country. In the past, due to insecurity, most of Afghan businessmen have invested abroad.

Unemployment has negatively affected the lives of thousands of families in the country since August 15.

Samana Hussaini is a journalism graduate of Kabul University. Hosseini is married and has a child. He previously worked as a journalist for a private media outlet. Since August 15, she lost her job. She is now tired of unemployment and is trying to flee the country and get rid of poverty.

Ms. Husaini says unemployment is one of the problems that has always existed in the past, but unfortunately with the rise of the Taliban, unemployment has risen dramatically.

“As a journalist, I am currently at home and the media in which I worked has ceased its operations,” Hussaini adds. “On the other hand, working women, specifically female journalists, have lost their jobs, including me. This has led me to a very bad economic situation.”

“Not only me, but many other families are now struggling with unemployment, and our situation is getting worse day by day,” Samana Hussaini points out. “Women who used to provide part of their families’ expenses cannot work now, and this has created a difficult situation for them. Undoubtedly, the situation will get worse if unemployment is not addressed properly.”

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released statistics on unemployment rate in the second half of 2020 in a report entitled “Community Based Needs Assessment” in Afghanistan. According to statistics, 72% of Afghans over the age of 18 in Afghanistan are unemployed. This includes 56% of men.

According to the report, the highest percentage of unemployment is recorded in Kunar, Laghman, Lugar, Paktia, Paktika Kabul, and Ghazni. However, this figure is lower than the figures in Nuristan, Jawzjan, Bamiyan, Daikundi and Sar-e-Pul provinces. Lack of a modern agricultural economy, high expectations by labours, and low population density are the main reason for unemployment. In the men’s category, Laghman, Kunar, Wardak, Parwan, Lugar, Paktia and Paktika provinces are at the top of the list, while Jawzjan, Sar-e-Pul, Bamiyan, Kunduz, Herat and Faryab are at the bottom.

Unemployment was also a serious problem in the previous government. With the Taliban taking control of the country, the problem is currently becoming a tragedy. According to the IOM, people in Afghanistan are classified according to the characteristics of their experience, communication and language skills, young age, gender, educational qualifications, main place of residence, and ethnicity. People were employed according to the above classification.

Mohammad Hussain used to edit and translate, but has now left the country due to unemployment. He says that unemployment is an immediate problem for youngsters.

“With the withdrawal of foreign institutions, thousands of Afghan people became unemployed,” said Mohammad Hussain. “Apart from government employees, many of young people who were engaged in private sectors also lost their jobs.” He adds that in large cities, people have stopped buying non-essentials in order to save for crucial needs. Mohammad Hussain points out that if the Taliban fail to address unemployment, famine will soon force people to carry out mass protests across the country.

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