Afghan ATMs to resume service for first time after Taliban takeover: report


Afghans queue outside Azizi Bank in Kabul, Afghanistan, in this September 2021 file photo (Image: Reuters/ WANA)

In the latter part of 2021, after the Taliban takeover in August, ATMs dried up and people were seen queuing outside banks outside Afghan towns.

  • Last update:January 15, 2022, 10:48 a.m. HST

ATMs will become operational in Afghanistan for the first time since the Taliban took power from Saturday, according to reports in Afghan news agencies. Local media quoted the press release from Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), which said commercial banks would resume ATM services. Thursday’s press release says the ATM is working with banks to ensure customers can withdraw cash from ATMs.

“Following meetings with the Afghan Banking Association and commercial banks, Da Afghanistan Bank has issued a circular for commercial banks based on which commercial banks will be able to transfer money from their ATMs to customers at specific locations,” the DAB said in a statement. press release originally posted in Pashto on its website. He also said he was working to restore normalcy to the banking system.

He also informed of the decision on Twitter on January 13 in a series of tweets.

Information about the drying up of ATMs in Afghanistan was published by several news agencies in early August. A report by German news agency Deutsche Welle showed that ATMs in the capital Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan remained non-functional, 10 days after the terror group took control of Afghanistan.

Legal news site The Jurist, which works with the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, also explained in a report last month how the banking system collapsed following the Taliban takeover. The report sheds light on the woes facing Afghans in the town of Mazar-e-Sharif where more than 200 people line up outside the Azizi Bank almost daily for several hours to withdraw cash. The withdrawal limit has also been capped at 10,000 AFN or close to $100.

The report also detailed the plight of Afghans who lived in remote towns and traveled daily to reach towns with bank branches in an attempt to withdraw cash for basic necessities. He said people travel to the aforementioned bank branch from distant towns like Samangan, Sheberghan and Faryab to withdraw cash. The report also pointed out that at the time of writing, ATM services as well as services related to MasterCard and VISA were also interrupted. The report pointed out that Afghans relied solely on physical currency soon after the Taliban took power.

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