Afghanistan is currently in the midst of political unrest imposed by fundamentalist group, the Taliban. Due to the nature of this conflict, the global consensus has been to pause international remittances in and out of the country. The status of this suspension is subject to change on a daily basis and on this page we will outline what this means for those who wish to send money to Afghanistan.
For many Afghans, receiving financial help from family and friends overseas is a primary source of income. According to the World Bank, the country received nearly $800million in overseas remittances in 2020, accounting for almost 4% of Afghanistan’s GDP last year.
Since the Taliban gained control in August 2021, however, Afghanistan has become increasingly disconnected from financial systems around the world. Customers who intend on sending money into the country are likely to face obstacles, delays and refusals, as the nation continues to be considered an ongoing concern for the international remittance market.
In August 2021, almost immediately after withdrawing the last of the U.S. Troops from Kabul, The U.S. Treasury Department halted the shipment of US Dollars and cut off access to the Afghan central bank’s reserve.
Many of the biggest money transfer companies, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, followed the United States’ lead, by suspending all remittance services in and out of the country.
Bank branches and popular remittance companies have since reopened and resumed their services, but due to ongoing security concerns customers should be wary of the potential for future suspensions.
The nation’s official currency – Afghan Afghani (AFN) – has suffered greatly since the Taliban took over. Due to long delays and suspensions of foreign currency exchange, the value of AFN has fallen dramatically, plunging to new lows amid the ongoing turmoil.
At the time of writing (October 2021) we do not advise customers to send money to Afghanistan, due to the country’s current uncertain financial status. We will post updates on the financial situation as and when they become available.
Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com