September 17, 2021

Donors pledging billions in aid to Afghanistan face a challenge: Navigating the Taliban

Featuring Alex Zerden

Source: CNBC

Journalist Natasha Turak

One month after the fall of its U.S.-supported government to the Taliban, Afghanistan faces crises of astronomical levels: millions facing starvation, a nationwide liquidity crunch, suspension of aid and freezing of assets by international donors and fears of brutal human rights abuses.

Policymakers in the West are grappling with whether to engage with Afghanistan’s new government of hardline Islamist extremists — which includes wanted terrorists — as the country approaches economic collapse.

Prior to the Taliban takeover, 80% of the Afghan government’s budget was funded by the U.S. and other Western donors. Forty percent of its GDP came from international aid. Roughly half of the country lived below the poverty line.

Read the full story and more from CNBC.

Authors

  • Alex Zerden

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, and Security Program, Founder and Principal, Capitol Peak Strategies LLC

    Alex Zerden is the founder and principal of Capital Peak Strategies LLC, a FinTech, digital asset, and emerging technologies advisory firm. As a regulatory lawyer, economic po...