Afghanistan’s economy and people have suffered an overwhelming shock since the Taliban takeover last August. The ongoing crisis has been driven by the cutoff of development aid, existing international sanctions and the freezing of Afghan foreign exchange reserves. This has sparked the incipient collapse of the private sector, banking system and the urban economy in particular — precipitating enormous humanitarian needs. The dire situation highlights the critical need for immediate action by the United States and international community to help forestall a complete economic collapse and mitigate the impact on millions of Afghans. 

Note: Due to a technical malfunction, there is no audio in the video recording from 03:17 to 05:45.

While there are major barriers to collecting reliable information on the Afghan economy under the current conditions, the World Bank has resumed collecting and analyzing economic data. Their findings are encapsulated in two new reports: a survey of 100 Afghan private firms and the World Bank’s first Afghanistan Development Update since the Taliban takeover. 

On April 13, USIP held a discussion on the economic situation in Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrawal, the travails of the Afghan private sector and prospects for the future. Experts from the World Bank outlined their newly released reports and — joined by other Afghanistan experts — discussed the key problems facing private businesses, as well as what Afghan authorities and international partners can and should do to prevent further economic deterioration.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #AfghanistanUSIP.


William Byrd, moderator
Senior Expert, Afghanistan, U.S Institute of Peace 

Tobias Haque
Lead Economist for Afghanistan, the World Bank

Naheed Sarabi 
Former Deputy Minister of Finance, Republic of Afghanistan

Andrea Mario Dall'Olio
Lead Country Economist for Afghanistan, the World Bank 

Jeffrey Grieco
President & CEO, Afghan American Chamber of Commerce 

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