Decades of war, a harsh climate, and neglect left much of Afghanistan’s infrastructure in rubble. Lack of infrastructure has hobbled Afghan development. Without electricity, businesses could not operate machinery. Households had no running water for drinking, cooking and cleaning, and absence of clean drinking water posed a major public-health challenge. Underdeveloped roads hampered movement of goods to domestic and international markets, and isolated villages from basic government services, even police or military protection.
Sector Accomplishments: 2015-2016
The agriculture sector accounts for up to 40 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product. Agriculture is critical to Afghanistan’s food security and a driver of economic growth. The majority of Afghans rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and their family’s sustenance. Prior to decades of conflict, Afghanistan’s agricultural products earned a global reputation for excellence, particularly almonds, pomegranates, pistachios, raisins, and apricots.
Three decades of conflict devastated Afghanistan’s education systems and institutions. In 2002, an estimated 900,000 boys attended school, while women and girls were almost completely excluded from educational opportunities. Since then, the Afghan government, USAID, and international donors have worked closely to rebuild Afghanistan’s education sector. The Ministry of Education, with support from USAID and other donors, has built more than 16,000 schools, recruited and trained more than 154,000 teachers, and increased net enrollment rates for school-aged children is close to 60%.
Protracted conflict, high levels of insecurity, inhospitable terrain, severe climate and weak infrastructure have plagued Afghanistan for the past 30 years. Afghanistan’s humanitarian landscape is further complicated by several other factors: a majority of the population lives in hard-to-reach rural areas, over one million Afghans are internally displaced by conflict, over 250,000 people are exposed to natural disasters each year, and 8.7 million people are food insecure of which 3.4 million people are severely food insecure.
Last updated: August 29, 2016