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The unit of currency in Afghanistan is the afghani, which is divided into 100 puls. Since 1981 the official rate of exchange has been fixed at 50 afghanis equal U.S.$1. However, the actual market rate of the afghani has fluctuated, and in 1994 2400 afghanis equaled U.S.$1. Dramatic inflation (with rates of up to 57 percent), which has been taking place in Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion, contributed to the drastic decrease in the purchasing power of the afghani from 1981 to 1994.

Afghanistan's central bank was founded in 1938 and is the largest bank in Afghanistan. The central bank issues all notes, executes government loans, and lends money to cities and to other banks. All private banks in Afghanistan were nationalized in 1975, mostly because a lack of clear terms for borrowers and lenders had made it difficult for people to use the country's credit resources. No stock market or other modern form of economic development exists in Afghanistan. Instead, archaic "money bazaars" exist to provide money-lending and foreign exchange dealings.

On Monday Oct 7, 2002 Afghanistans interim government marked the first anniversary of U.S. air strikes that brought it to power by issuing new banknotes, aimed at reasserting central control over a war-ravaged economy.

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