Daily US Times: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Afghanistan’s economic woes could fuel a refugee crisis impacting neighbouring countries, Turkey and Europe.
Afghanistan’s economy will contract by up to 30% this year – which could cause a humanitarian crisis and push millions into poverty, the fund warned.
The IMF said the neighbours of Afghanistan would be further hit because they rely on its funds for trade.
Afghanistan’s neighbour Tajikistan has said it can’t afford to take in many more refugees.
With most non-humanitarian aid halted and foreign assets frozen, inflows of cash to Afghanistan have all but dried up.
“A large influx of refugees could put a burden on public resources in refugee-hosting countries, fuel labour market pressures, and lead to social tensions, underscoring the need for assistance from the international community,” IMF said in its regional economic outlook.
While it is not clear how many Afghan refugees there would be, the fund estimates that if there were to be a million more, hosting them would cost Iran $300m, Pakistan $500m and Tajikistan $100m.
Tajikistan said last month that it couldn’t afford to take in large numbers of refugees unless it received international financial assistance while other nations in central Asia have said they have no plans to host refugees.
Nearby countries will also be affected by the loss of Afghanistan as a major trading partner.
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