Kabul residents plead for UN spotlight amid Taliban restrictions

A number of residents of Kabul fervently appealed to the UN’s Special Coordinator on Afghanistan, Feridun Sinirlioglu, to emphasize the severe economic hardships and escalating poverty faced by the people in his upcoming report slated for presentation to the United Nations in November.

The capital city’s residents expressed deepening concerns and dissatisfaction regarding the sustained high rates of unemployment and escalating poverty since the Taliban’s ascension to power.

Kabul resident, Najmuddin, articulated the prevalent sentiment, stating, “The poverty is pervasive. Many can’t even afford to buy basic foodstuffs. The UN’s reports should give prominence to Afghanistan’s dire situation.”

Adding weight to the argument, another local, Zulfaqar, remarked, “The living conditions are alarmingly distressing, especially with the harsh winter setting in.”

The international community, in response to the Taliban’s documented human rights violations, has curtailed its developmental aid to Afghanistan, which previously backed numerous projects throughout the nation. Notably, the World Bank’s pivotal initiative, the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program, which offered job opportunities to thousands, was suspended.

Adding to the socio-economic challenges, the Taliban has instituted a ban on Afghan women working in non-governmental institutions, including the UN. This move has particularly affected women heads of households, who now grapple to fulfill basic needs in light of these restrictions.

Herat resident, Najma, recounted her ordeal, saying, “Post the Taliban decree that prohibited women from NGO employment, I lost my job. My story mirrors the economic struggles of countless Afghan women.”

In a further blow to women’s economic empowerment, the Taliban recently outlawed female beauty salons, resulting in a loss of income for thousands of Afghan women.