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Economic Growth

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Our Work

USAID partners with the Government of Afghanistan to bolster sustainable, export-driven economic growth, strengthen the private sector, and expand the reach of quality Afghan products to international markets. Our assistance aims to forge a self-reliant Afghanistan where all citizens–including women and girls, minorities, and people with disabilities–have the resources and opportunities to thrive.

 

Major Highlight

Owing in part to our collaboration with the Government of Afghanistan, Afghan per capita gross domestic product rose from $21.80 in 2002 to $647 in 2018—a nearly 3,000 percent increase.

 

Forging Fiscal Sustainability

Between 2004 and 2018, USAID worked with the Government of Afghanistan to strengthen the government’s economic and regulatory policies, improve financial management, and drive private sector-led economic growth. This generated jobs, increased government revenue, and bolstered investment, moving Afghanistan closer to fiscal sustainability. We increased the financial skills of nearly 1,600 civil servants and embedded 41 advisors in line-ministries to mentor and coach employees.

 

Strengthening Afghan Businesses

After years of conflict, Afghanistan’s micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises face a complex business environment, characterized by labor market challenges, limited access to finance, nascent industrial utilities, and weak security. USAID helped to grow micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises and spur job growth. We have supported more than 11,000 businesses, providing them with technical assistance, training, and in-kind grants while increasing access to market information. We also worked to stand-up nearly 1,300 new businesses—creating an estimated 380,000 full-time jobs—and facilitated loans for nearly 100,000 Afghan business owners.

 

Promoting Trade and Regional Integration

Since 2004, USAID has helped build Afghanistan’s trade policy and customs reforms. We promoted greater regional economic integration through trade agreements and international trade shows and we expanded Afghan brand recognition to international markets. After years of collaboration with USAID,

Afghanistan joined the World Trade Organization on July 29, 2016, signaling to investors that Afghanistan had established a more stable, predictable, and transparent business environment with strong investor protections. Owing in part to our assistance, Afghanistan increased its status in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index 2020 and Afghan exports rose to $777 million in the same year, representing a more than 100 percent increase compared to 2010.

Last updated: September 24, 2021

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