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The Taliban-controlled afghani has thrashed the US dollar this quarter, becoming the world’s best-performing currency

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  • Afghanistan’s afghani has surged 9% against the US dollar over the past three months.
  • The Taliban’s tight controls have made the currency the world’s best performer since July 1.
  • But Afghanistan’s economy has suffered since the group reclaimed power in 2021.

The best-performing currency of the third quarter isn’t the surging US dollar – it’s Afghanistan’s afghani.

The Taliban-controlled medium of exchange has jumped 9% against the greenback since July 1, according to data from Refinitiv, meaning it tops the global rankings for the period.

The strong run means the afghani is now up 14% year-to-date – making it the world’s third-strongest performing currency of 2023, behind only the Colombian peso and the Sri Lankan rupee, per Bloomberg.

Since it retook Kabul in August 2021, the Taliban has imposed tight currency controls that bar locals from using the US dollar and Pakistani rupee, and banned online trading in a bid to prop the afghani up.

While those measures appear to be working, Afghanistan’s economy has suffered mightily since the Islamic fundamentalist insurgent group toppled Ashraf Ghani’s government.

A massive spike in unemployment has worsened the country’s humanitarian crisis, per a recent report by the International Committee of the Red Cross. 79% of the population live in poverty, and 44% of people don’t have enough food to eat.

The Taliban’s economic policies have also been unable to stave off deflation, with year-on-year prices falling at a rate of over 9% in July, according to data from the World Bank.

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