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Afghans struggle to stay warm in incoming winter amid price hike of daily necessities


The skyrocketing prices of daily needs have sandwiched the ordinary people, a wood buyer Yar Mohammad said, adding that the closure of borders and freezing Afghan assets abroad has caused economic problems for Afghans.

People are struggling to cope with the incoming winter in the war-torn and cash-strapped Afghanistan, as the majority of the country's some 35 million population living under the poverty line and barely can bear the expenses of daily basic needs.

"The purchase of power is sliming day by day and people can't afford to buy wood or other necessities to cope with the winter and keep their homes warm in the chilly season," a wood buyer Yar Mohammad told Xinhua.

Bargaining with the wood seller in a local wood market here, Mohammad said that the skyrocketing prices of daily needs have sandwiched the ordinary people, adding that the closure of borders and freezing Afghan assets abroad has caused economic problems for Afghans.

Afghan men work at a wood market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 17, 2021. (Photo by Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua)

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"Borders are closed, banks don't have normal activities and Afghanistan assets abroad have been frozen," Mohammad said angrily.

The United States has reportedly frozen more than 10 billion U.S. dollars of Afghanistan since the Taliban took over the power of the country in mid-August, which led to an uncertain situation in Afghanistan where bank account owners have begun withdrawing their capital and local banks can not give more than 200 U.S. dollars each week.

Afghan men work at a wood market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 17, 2021. (Photo by Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua)

The country's economic situation worsens with a high inflation rate, increasing unemployment and growing poverty.

The majority of people in Afghanistan do not have a central heating system in their homes and largely relying on the old-fashion heating system, the wood stove, to keep their home warm in the mountainous country.

"The business has flopped, the number of jobless people is on the rise and the economic situation is extremely unstable while the prices of fuel including petrol and diesel are going up day by day," a coal seller Mohammad Sabir whispered.

Last year at this time, according to Sabir, his shop was full of coal buyers. But nowadays, rarely do locals ask for coal, although the price is not too high.

"The price of one-ton coal was 10,000 afghanis last year but this year it costs 11,000 afghanis," Sabir said, adding the purchase of power of the people has been shrunk this year in comparison with last year.

According to Sabir, 1 U.S. dollar equals 89. 80 afghani nowadays, while in last year, 1 U.S. dollar exchanged to 72 afghani.

Afghan men work at a wood market in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 17, 2021. (Photo by Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua)

Published : October 19, 2021

By : Xinhua