UN chief: Afghan economy 'breaking down'

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging the international community to take action to prevent the economy in Afghanistan from collapsing.

Guterres spoke to reporters on Monday at the UN headquarters in New York about deteriorating economic conditions in Afghanistan, particularly a cash shortage.

He said that "the economy is breaking down. Banks are closing and essential services, such as health care, have been suspended in many places."

He asked the global community, through international organizations, to inject cash that would reach people in the country.

Guterres warned that if the global community does not help, more and more Afghans will flee their homes and "terrorist networks will also likely increase."

The UN chief also said he is "particularly alarmed to see promises made to Afghan women and girls by the Taliban being broken."

He strongly appealed to the Islamist rulers to guarantee women rights to education and employment.

The Afghan government's assets in the United States and other areas overseas were frozen after the Taliban's takeover in August.

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies are set to discuss the Afghan situation at an extraordinary meeting on October 12.