Efforts to boost employment in Afghanistan underway, says Mujahid

KABUL (SW) – Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the de-facto government of Islamic Emirate, says that in the past two and a half years, significant economic resources have been revived, and efforts are now underway to increase job opportunities in Afghanistan.

He adds, “Economic problems and unemployment are issues that have remained since the war. The Islamic Emirate, after coming to power, has revitalized significant economic resources, providing many people with job opportunities. 150,000 Afghans have been employed in the mining sector and large projects have begun. We are still striving to increase employment capacity in the country to tackle unemployment.”

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in a statement released on Wednesday in X, however, said that since 2021, especially with the return of migrants, the sources of income for Afghan citizens have decreased or disappeared overall.

The organization emphasized that the forced return of Afghan migrants from neighboring countries has exacerbated the unemployment crisis and has had the most severe impact on women and children.

Since the reestablishment of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, work on 7,500 of the international community’s development projects in the country has been halted, and many citizens have lost their jobs.

The International Organization for Migration has voiced concern about the increase in unemployment and the severity of this situation with the return of hundreds of thousands of migrants to the country, while the Ministry of Migrants and Repatriates states that nearly two million people have returned to Afghanistan in the past year.

Mansoor and Ghulam Aqa, two Afghan citizens who have recently returned from Pakistan and Iran, say due to unemployment, they cannot meet the food and health needs of their families.

Mansoor says, “It has been three months since we returned. We have nine family members, and I am the breadwinner. When I was in Pakistan, I was earning a daily wage, and we were getting by. Since returning to Afghanistan, there are no jobs; I pay 3,000 Afghanis for rent, my children have stopped going to school, and I cannot afford their education.”

Gholam Aqa also adds, “After some of our family members were deported from Iran, the rest of us had no choice but to come to the country. I used to work in a restaurant there; it was enough for our household expenses. For now, I have a three-wheeler, my income has decreased significantly and I cannot afford life necessities.”

According to statistics shared by the Ministry of Migrants and Repatriates to Salam Watandar, in the past year, one million and 826,590 individuals have returned to the country from neighboring countries, either voluntarily or forcibly, and among them, opportunities for employment and educational fields have been provided for more than 16,000 individuals so far.