Facts and Figures of Afghanistan
After decades of war, Afghanistan is trying to recover and rebuild its country. The following are 10 facts and figures of Afghanistan.

  1. The current population is estimated at 33,300,000, which ranks 41 in the world and includes a 2.34% increase in 2016.
  2. Infant mortality was reported by the CIA in 2016 as 112.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, the highest in the world, while the average life expectancy in 2016 was 43.8.
  3. Recently, more health resources have been made available to women, including access to contraceptives, more midwives and prenatal and postnatal care. As a result, the infant mortality rate, reported in USAID-funded government statistics, fell from 66 to 45 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2001 and 2015.
  4. After years of civil unrest and natural disasters, Afghanistan was reported as one of the world’s poorest countries, ranking 169 out of 187 in 2012. Additional facts and figures of Afghanistan include the 2016 GDP, which was recorded as approximately $64.08 billion, a $1.26 billion increase from 2015.
  5. The international community has committed to helping Afghanistan rebuild itself by pledging over $83 billion between 2003 and 2015. Donors have pledged an additional $3.8 billion in 2016 for development aid between 2017 and 2020.
  6. Due to the large percentage of the population living in poverty, more than 1.5 million people are severely food-insecure. An additional 7.3 million people are moderately food-insecure, and about 60 percent of children under five years old are stunted due to chronic malnutrition.
  7. While access to food is a major issue, water quality also proves to be a problem in Afghanistan.  As of 2012, 27% of the population has access to clean water, which reduces to 20% in rural areas, the lowest in the world. Access is limited mainly due to damaged or destroyed infrastructure from years of war. Because of this and the lack of reservoirs and canals, only 30-35% of clean mountain water is accessible to the population.
  8. With hunger and poor water quality at the forefront of Afghanistan’s growing list of problems, the World Food Programme has increased its support in recent years. Shifting its focus from emergency assistance to rehabilitation and recovery, the WFP has provided more than 3.6 million people with aid, including nutritious meals for the malnourished, food for training and assisting with infrastructure rehabilitation.
  9. Education is also seeing slow but continuous improvement. Afghanistan’s literacy rate rose 7% from 2011 to 2015, where it was reported at 38.2%. Although low compared to other nations, it is continuing to increase with help from aid and rehabilitation programs around the country.
  10. In addition, in 2002, an estimated 900,000 boys attended school, while women and girls were almost completely excluded. However, with help from the Afghanistan ministry of education, USAID and other donors, as of July 2017, more than 16,000 schools have been built, 154,000 teachers recruited and net enrollment rates for children increased by 60%.

As shown by these 10 facts and figures of Afghanistan, with help from various aid programs and the Afghanistan government, the country is making strides to improve the daily life and future opportunities for its citizens.

Amira Wynn

Photo: Flickr