Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers are likely to face a rapidly developing financial crisis, with foreign currency reserves largely unreachable and western aid donors – who fund the country’s institutions by about 75% – already cutting off or threatening to cut payments.
While the hardline Islamist group has moved in recent years to become more independent of outside financial supporters including Iran, Pakistan and wealthy donors in the Gulf, its financial flows – amounting to $1.6bn (£1.2bn) last year – are far short of what it will require to govern.
That is to assume that they’re even going to try and govern as the previous government did.
Paying for the schools, and poverty alleviation, and roads and all that. What they might well do – I have no particular insight here, no local knowledge – is just revert to that more Islamic/medieval system of governance that requires none of that central cash. The roads can go to pot, the schools and charity alleviation are local and through the mosques and what money does central government need anyway?