Afghan Currency Drops to Record Lows after Taliban takeover

Afghanistan’s currency slid to record lows after its central bank governor fled the country amid the Taliban takeover.

The Afghani fell by about 4.6 percent on Aug. 17 at 86.06 per dollar, according to Bloomberg data.

The acting governor of the central bank of Afghanistan Ajmal Ahmady said that he left the country on Aug.15 after President Ashraf Ghani’s departure.

Ahmady wrote in a Twitter thread that the central bank already had a shortage of currency supply days prior to the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul.

“Currency spiked from a stable 81 to almost 100 then back to 86,” Ahmady wrote, saying he held meetings a day before the fall of Kabul to reassure banks.

Ahmady said that the United States have blocked its stash of about $9.5 billion worth of Afghanistan’s assets from being shipped to the latter to keep the Taliban from accessing the money. 

Afghanistan’s cash-based economy is also suffering blows from the suspension of remittance services by Western Union and MoneyGram. Cash remittances make up about 4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Kuwait Investment Company, commented that the future of the Afghani will depend on its regime’s economic direction.

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