Wave of young Afghan migrants seen hurting economy they leave behind

More than 160,000 Afghanis have gone to Europe this year.

Reuters| Updated: Dec 07, 2015, 10:25 AM IST
Wave of young Afghan migrants seen hurting economy they leave behind

Kabul: Afghan software entrepreneur Farshid Ghyasi, chief executive of the Netlinks company, is struggling to keep his best employees, as more plan to join a wave of migrants leaving for Europe that risks causing long-term damage to the country and its economy.

He is not alone in bemoaning the mass exodus, triggered by poor job prospects and worsening security as Taliban insurgents grow more powerful after the bulk of NATO troops withdrew at the end of 2014.

Many of those going are young city dwellers who should be spending their productive years at home as their country struggles to emerge from war, and nearly 15 years of international support, to build a self-sustaining economy.

"It`s a huge loss," said Ahmed Siar Khoreishi, an economist and chief executive of Ghazanfar Bank. "The majority of these people are under the age of 30. This is really scary, we have very limited qualified, specialist people."

There are no accurate figures for the number of Afghans who leave each year in search of a better life abroad, but more than 160,000 have gone to Europe this year, UNHCR data show. The majority of those have been in the last few months.