The Taliban ban the use of the US dollar, another foreign currency

The Taliban announced on Tuesday that they would ban the use of foreign currency in Afghanistan.

“The economic situation and national interests in the country require all Afghans to use Afghan currency in their trade,” the Taliban said in a statement according to Reuters.

Areas along the border trade with currencies from neighboring countries such as Pakistan and US dollars, which are widely used in Afghanistan’s markets, Reuters reported.

Grants from international donors once funded about 75 percent of public spending in Afghanistan, the news service added, but after the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces and other foreign interests this summer, the money has dried up.

According to Reuters, billions of dollars worth of assets from Afghanistan have been kept with the US Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe. These assets have been frozen since the Taliban took over Kabul in August; with the nation facing economic strain amid drought, famine and migration-related problems, the Taliban is working to gain access to the money.

The unexpected announcement of using strictly Afghan currency came just hours after another crisis: a shooting at Afghanistan’s largest military hospital that left 25 people dead and 50 wounded. In addition to the shot, there were two powerful explosions at the scene of the incident in Kabul.

The United States and other Western powers have refused to officially recognize the Taliban government, a decision that the Taliban has said could lead to problems “for the world.”

“Our message to America is that if the recognition continues, Afghan problems continue, it is the region’s problem and could become a problem for the world,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said last week.

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