Afghanistan had suffered from insurgency and calamities over the years and it was in 2007 and 2011 in which this country was able to experience economic growth. In the years after the fall of Taliban, its economy was slowly recovering, also with the help of other countries. However, this country still remains relatively poor. Apart from relying on the help of other nations, it is also a landlocked country situated within Central Asia and South Asia. The scarcity in food and means of livelihood leave half of the population of children malnourished from lack of nutrition especially after two years of age.
According to the World Bank, which came up with its very first Systematic Country Diagnostic for Afghanistan, the poverty percentage rate of this country still remains at 36. Here are some of the significant findings by the World Bank:
- In 2014, the population of Afghanistan was 31,280,518. Today, it is 33, 478,944 and the number continues to rise. Half of Afghanistan’s population is deprived of access to improved water sources. During the same year, the number of people who were poor was 8,831,739.5 while the ratio of rural poverty headcount at national poverty lines in terms of percentage was 38.3 in 2011 with the poverty headcount ratio at 35.8%.
- There was an unequal growth distribution, particularly in the West Central, Northeast and East regions due to scarcity in financial aid, climactic shocks and being remote locations.
- There was a sharp decline in economic growth in 2014, between 1.5% and 2% while there was a fiscal crisis in 2015 and the private sector confidence in the economy fell.
- Despite the availability of jobs in parts of the region with high conflict from international aid, productivity, which was significant to economic development, did not suffice.
- Afghanistan encountered other barriers for economic development which were aggravated by dwindling support internationally, growing insecurity of the people and their feelings of uncertainty that the country will recover. The problem of the nation with civil unrest and insurgency also added to Afghanistan’s weakness and vulnerability.
- Barriers for development also include the increasing number of the population with the people from the younger population being displaced. Moreover, service access and employment possibilities as well as women, not allowed to contribute in the economic growth, are also concerns.
- As for the decreasing aid, this will require the government to look for other sources to improve delivery of services, expand growth, use revenues for economic growth and spend money wisely.
- Poverty is the most deadly problem in Afghanistan, with at least 36% of the population 6r an est50ated 9 million Afghans live in extreme poverty while around 37% live slightly above the poverty line.
- Afghanistan has a very high illiteracy rate, one of the highest in the world, with at least 9 million people not able to read or write.
- According to the data gathered by the UNICEF in 2008, the percentage of children, ages between 5-14, who are victims of child labor is around 25% and the percentage increased by 5% in 2011. This is because of poverty.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.