The Kabul Times.
Economic National

Economic stability requires concrete steps

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Humanitarian assistance and aids cannot cure the long-standing problems of economy and financial crisis of a county, rather they are temporary treatment and time based solutions.
There is a wide-known old saying that goes as, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” It is an oft-quoted saying, full of social wisdom.
In the last two decades, the world donor countries and international aid organizations have “given fish” to the people of Afghanistan instead of teaching them how to catch a fish, so that they could provide themselves with lifetime earnings.
This is the reason the people are increasingly worried for the worsening economic situation of the country.
In these two decades, Afghanistan could not develop its economy due to a wide range of reasons and issues and no fundamental work could be done. Furthermore, a number of development projects were also not implemented. Therefore, neither the socio-political life of ordinary people could see any tangible change, nor could it solve any dilemma of war-stricken country. The aids that were allocated for Afghanistan in the name of humanitarian assistance, in the past 20 years; either they went to pockets of private contractors, or misused by some political authorities, without doing any good to the life of ordinary man.
Given the current economic crisis, the world countries and aid organizations are once again repeating the same mistake. Under the name of humanitarian assistance, Afghanistan is being provided millions of dollars by these organizations; hence, iterating the old saying of “giving a fish to eat, rather to teach to fish.”
Therefore, if the world and current government want to solve the current economic problems of the country, there needs to be concrete steps taken and the issue should be addressed fundamentally, avoiding the humanitarian crisis for a permanent period.
Thus, the following steps should be given priority in order to solve the above mentioned issue:
Firstly, the world donor countries and aid organizations should reach a consensus, and instead of providing these aids individually, all of them must altogether help the country. With this step taken, the humanitarian assistance can be avoided on a large scale and the current political system would be able to take urgent actions by starting a wide range of economic activities, ensuring a better life for the people.
Secondly, the UN organizations, European Union, Asian Development Bank, International Bank, international, and other financial organizations should immediately resume their paused projects in the country. Additionally, new projects of small and large scale should be implemented in the country according to the choice and will of the people as these will create lots of work opportunities for the people and somehow help the situation.
Thirdly, the country is currently experiencing an overall security and opportunities for investment are wide available. In the earlier years, a number of packages were planned for domestic and foreign investments. Therefore, if these projects are implemented, it would not be difficult for the country to reach self-sufficiency in economic venue.
Fourthly, according to the Turkish land system and with the assistance of Turkish experts, a five-year plan was devised for the management of Afghanistan’s lands. If we could manage to implement it, it would modernize our land system and the public lands would become a source of income, hence paving the way for investment and economic activities country wide.
Fifthly, in the last 20 years, Afghanistan’s agricultural and industrial products were not given proper attention; therefore, they could not attract the face of regional and international markets. Thus, our invaluable products were exported to neighboring countries on low prices, and therefrom, were exported to international markets. These issues were obstacles against our industries to grow or gain a systemic basis; damaging the country’s economy. It is important that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) sign bilateral agreements and contracts with regional and world countries relating to the agricultural and manufacturing products of the country and find perpetual and stable markets.
Sixthly, those regional projects left uncompleted must immediately be resumed as they would stabilize the economy and create job opportunities for hundreds of Afghans.
Seventhly, in the past few years a number of programs were employed for the small scale rural firms. They were, undoubtedly, beneficial for the people. With these programs, on one sided, the Afghan men and women started their own home businesses and on the other side, domestic economy was also improved.
If similar programs could once again be started in all 34 provinces of the country, this will not only provide job opportunities for millions of (male and female) Afghans, but home and rural economy, as well as country’s economy as a whole, will also improve.
Finally, the regional countries have to be encouraged to invest in major regional and national projects. The IEA government has eased the conditions for any kind of investments. On the other hand, it promises full security for the investors. These steps, if followed, will not only push the economy towards self-sufficiency and the country towards social well-being, but will also be an encouragement for the world, alongside the regional countries, to realistically invest in Afghanistan.
The Kabul Times

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The Kabul Times.