November 15, 2021
The Taliban will buy electricity from Iran to address blackouts in the west of Afghanistan, Afghan channel TOLO News reported last week.
A deal was reportedly signed by the country’s electricity company Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) with Iran for 100 megawatts of electricity.
A DABS spokesperson told TOLO News that the electricity will supply the Herat, Farah, and Nimroz provinces, which are facing shortages.
The country’s power network has struggled under mounting debts and poor infrastructure since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August.
Afghanistan relies on foreign imports for 70 percent of its power, according to an NPR report.
Neighbors Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, as well as Iran, supply electricity to Afghanistan.
The former CEO of DABS, who stepped down when the Taliban came to power, said that the country has around $90 million in unpaid electricity bills.
Shortfalls in the country’s power grid infrastructure also make it difficult to supply electricity, a DABS spokesperson told ANI News.
Supplies to Kabul could be cut off over the winter, DABS’ former head told ANI.
The country has grappled with an economic crisis since the Taliban took over.
Close to half of Afghanistan’s population – around 19 million people – face acute hunger, according to a report from nonprofit group CARE.
A recent UN report said as much as 97 percent of the population could fall below the poverty line by mid-2022.