UN / AFGHANISTAN UNDP PRESSER

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05-Oct-2022 00:03:03
A decade’s worth of hard-won economic gains in Afghanistan was wiped out in a single year, according to a new UN report. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN UNDP PRESSER
TRT: 3:03
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 05 OCTOBER 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

05 OCTOBER 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUDBITE (English) Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Asia-Pacific Director:
“We are looking at data on the Afghan economy that is showing a significant drop of the overall GDP. But also that we've got now 95 to 97 percent of Afghans who live below the poverty line.”
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUDBITE (English) Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Asia-Pacific Director:
“It is very clear that between the UN and a number of NGOs, both international and national, that going into last winter, we did collectively managed to avoid a massive catastrophe. That is undeniable. It was absolutely essential to have that very intense injection of humanitarian aid coming in very quickly ahead of the winter.”
6. Close up, journalist asking question
7. SOUDBITE (English) Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Asia-Pacific Director:
“If you think about pre-Taliban, it still was about a $20 billion dollar economy. Then in a year, though, lost about $5 billion. If you just think about that, as the report shows you, that's about 10 years’ worth of accumulated assets and wealth that just got lost in 10 months. That kind of dramatic collapse we've not seen anywhere in the world.”
8. Wide shot, briefing room
9. SOUDBITE (English) Abdallah Al Dardari, Resident Representative in Afghanistan, UNDP:
“Afghanistan's humanitarian load, if I may use the term, has increased from 19 million people to 22 million people in just 14 months. So that it cannot be dealt with by just providing humanitarian assistance, despite the very importance of that humanitarian assistance. Therefore, livelihoods, creating jobs and trying to recover local economies has been crucial. “
10. SOUDBITE (English) Abdallah Al Dardari, Resident Representative in Afghanistan, UNDP:
“We've been working with local communities through Cash for Work, microfinance, technical assistance, local infrastructure development, and so on. We have successfully created 560,000 temporary jobs. We have reached and supported, through finance and technical assistance and training, 34,000 women entrepreneurs and we are targeting this year to reach 50,000 woman entrepreneurs in our support.”
11. Wide shot, briefing room

STORYLINE:

A decade’s worth of hard-won economic gains in Afghanistan was wiped out in a single year, according to a new UN report.

Kanni Wignaraja, the Assistant Secretary-General and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Asia-Pacific Director, told journalists in New York on Wednesday (5 Oct) that “that kind of dramatic collapse” has not been “seen anywhere in the world.”

According to the Report, titled “Afghanistan Since August 2021: A Socio-Economic Snapshot”, the political shock with the Taliban takeover precipitated a sharp contraction in the licit economy that was already in decline.

The GDP, already on a declining trend since 2009, contracted by 20 percent between 2020 and 2021 with an estimated loss of about US$5 billion in one year alone.

Wignaraja informed that, because of this crisis, 95 to 97 percent of Afghans now live below the poverty line.

For the expert, “it is very clear that between the UN and a number of NGOs, both international and national, that going into last winter, we did collectively managed to avoid a massive catastrophe.”

“That is undeniable. It was absolutely essential to have that very intense injection of humanitarian aid coming in very quickly ahead of the winter,” said the UNDP Asia-Pacific Director.

The UNDP Resident Representative in Afghanistan, Abdallah Al Dardari, noted that Afghanistan's humanitarian load has increased from 19 million people to 22 million people in just 14 months.

Because of that, Al Dardari said, “it cannot be dealt with by just providing humanitarian assistance, despite the very importance of that humanitarian assistance.”

According to him, the focus “on livelihoods, creating jobs and trying to recover local economies has been crucial.“

The Resident Representative in Afghanistan told journalists that, through microfinance, technical assistance, local infrastructure development and other initiatives, UNDP has successfully created 560,000 temporary jobs.

“We have reached and supported, through finance and technical assistance and training, 34,000 women entrepreneurs and we are targeting this year to reach 50,000 woman entrepreneurs in our support,” added Al Dardari.

The report is produced by UNDP Afghanistan, drawing from a range of data sources. Reflecting the limited availability of public data, it draws on third-party data sources and coverage.
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