This research draws extensively from a study that was conducted one year into the pandemic and a few months before the Taliban completed their takeover of the country. By juxtaposing that study’s main findings against open-source data and background interviews, this paper seeks to explore the dynamics identified in the study from the vantage point of Afghanistan of today, more than six months into the Taliban’s rule.

Looking at issues of cross-border movement, COVID-19, security and healthcare, the findings show that:

  • The ongoing economic crisis is likely to have impacted wage laborers more compared to the general population, and therefore, they should be prioritized as a vulnerable group for assistance.
  • Border closures have real and immediate impacts on the livelihood of residents of border districts, particularly wage laborers.
  • Making rural health clinics operational, where wage laborers and women of border districts and rural communities are the main users, is likely to have a positive impact on wage laborers’ and women’s access to healthcare.
  • Programs aimed at generating economic opportunities and stimulating community participation need to be cognizant of the needs of female economic actors.
  • Domestic violence is a serious issue in the border districts.