Afghanistan is facing a potentially catastrophic perfect storm of bank closures and shortages of hard currency on top of the suspension of money transfers by companies that sustain the key flow of remittances to Afghans from abroad by family members.

With ATMs in cities emptied, and banks and the main Sarai Shahzada financial exchange in Kabul still closed, the country has faced a series of economic shocks since the Taliban seized power a week ago.

Without access to $9bn (£6.6bn) in frozen central bank reserves, which are held in the US, and with a crucial delivery of dollars cancelled as the former government collapsed, ordinary Afghans are already confronted with rising prices for basic goods as the value of the afghani has dropped even as they have started to run low on cash.

Salaries for government workers, many of whom are in hiding since the Taliban takeover, are unpaid, while queues formed at banks to withdraw savings during…

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