Afghanistan: Shopkeepers abandon stores in favor of street vending

The dire economic situation in Afghanistan, characterized by widespread poverty and high unemployment rates, has forced many people to engage in street vending as a means of survival.

Arash, a 24-year-old medical student, said that economic problems and the high cost of university tuition have forced him to work on the streets.

Arash previously owned a shop in Kabul for five years, but escalating taxes and shop rent have made it unaffordable, forcing him to turn to street vending.

His story is reflective of many others who have been compelled to abandon their shops and pursue street vending as a more viable option.

Shopkeepers also raised their concerns over the high rent for stalls, as they pay considerable amounts ranging from two thousand to ten thousand Afghanis monthly, without generating enough income from their vending activities.

“Dollar rate has risen and it resulted in a surge in the price of these items,” said Abdul Jabbar, a shopkeeper.

A recent report by the World Food Program (WFP) also highlighted the worsening poverty and food insecurity situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021.

The report indicated that over 92 percent of the Afghan population lacks access to sufficient food.