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Taliban approves first budget after Afghanistan takeover

A money changer holds Afghani banknotes at a currency exchange market along a road in Kandahar on 20 September 2021 [JAVED TANVEER/AFP/Getty Images]
A money changer holds Afghani banknotes at a currency exchange market along a road in Kandahar on 20 September 2021 [JAVED TANVEER/AFP/Getty Images]

The Taliban administration approved its first budget since the takeover of Afghanistan last August, the Finance Ministry said on Friday and reported by Anadolu News Agency.

The budget of 53.9 billion Afghanis ($524 million) will cover the first quarter of 2022 and is almost entirely dedicated to funding government institutions, the Ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry wants to distribute the approved budget to all state institutions as soon as possible to prevent disruptions in the country, it added.

It said some $478 million in the budget are allocated to government institutions and $46 million are earmarked for development expenditures.

The approved budget was the first to exclude foreign aid in Afghanistan after 20 years of US occupation.

READ: Desperate Afghan mother faced with giving up her daughter to pay off debt

After the Taliban came to power on 15 August, 2021, foreign aid to Afghanistan was cut off, leading to severe economic challenges.

The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the US Federal Reserve cut off Afghanistan's access to international funds.

Unemployment, poverty and hunger have reached alarming levels in Afghanistan.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced that the number of people facing acute food insecurity in Afghanistan is at least 18.8 million, and this number is expected to rise to 22.8 million during the winter.

Raising alarm over the deteriorating conditions, UN Chief, Antonio Guterres, has also called on the World Bank to immediately release $1.2 billion to help Afghanistan and its people.

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