What you need to know about sending payments to Afghanistan
Prepared by Australian South Asian Centre – 23 August 2021
Many in the international community want to help the people of Afghanistan, however, it’s important to know the situation on the ground to effectively help those in need. For broader context about the situation in Afghanistan, please read this document, this post will be focusing on payments.
- Banks are shut in Afghanistan at the moment due to a shortage of cash and international sanctions.
- Due to the catastrophic breakdown of Afghanistan’s internal governance and the stoppage of the flow of US dollars, short term financial intervention through the usual channels is impossible.
- We are left with waiting a few weeks for the situation to settle and learn how the Taliban government decides to establish itself. This will inform how the international community can advocate, facilitate evacuations and let funds flow again.
- Long-term payment systems are unable to be established currently, due to this instability.
- Though, reports from inside the country have said that the app, WasalPay, an online payment system commonly for utilised bills, has been an effective way to keep phone credits topped up via funds from outside Afghanistan. Individuals and organisations like the International Women’s Media Foundation have been making contributions to keep those vulnerable connected.
- These remote payments and lines of communication are important, so those affected know when and how they can safely evacuate Afghanistan, as many are in hiding.
- The app’s CEO is committed to keeping the service running until December at least. However, with the planned departure of international media and military forces in August, it’s expected that safely exiting Afghanistan will become increasingly more difficult in the coming months.
Please refer to this post for information about evacuating Kabul.
We have a contact who can help get women, children and their families onto a live list endorsed by a Senator for a US visa ASAP. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com if you’re not already on a US visa list. Iran’s borders are reported to be open at the moment. The Pakistan embassy is also still issuing visas and exit is allowed.
Again, it’s encouraged that if you’re outside Afghanistan that you read this document and take immediate action by contacting your relevant elected officials. It’s vital that we let them know that we care about the welfare of the people of Afghanistan and want to see concrete action taken to ensure their safety.