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Mailboxes on every street: Afghanistan’s plan to modernize postal services

In parts of Afghanistan where there are no street names or house numbers, utility companies and their customers have adopted a creative approach for connecting. They use mosques as drop points for bills and cash, a “pay and pray” system.

Now the national postal service wants to phase this out by putting mailboxes on every street across the country, part of a plan to modernize a service long challenged by bureaucracy and war.

The lofty aspirations include introducing access to shopping via e-commerce sites and issuing debit cards for online purchases. It will be a leap in a country where most of the population is unbanked, air cargo is in its infancy, and international courier companies don’t deliver even to the capital, Kabul.

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