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 Transnational Issues

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007

Map of Afghanistan

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Afghanistan Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. Subsequently, a series of civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution and a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. On 7 December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan. The National Assembly was inaugurated on 19 December 2005.
   Geography    Afghanistan Top of Page
Definition Field Listing
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
33 00 N, 65 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5,529 km
border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Definition Field Listing
arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Definition Field Listing
mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 12.13%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 87.66% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
27,200 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)
   People    Afghanistan Top of Page
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31,056,997 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 44.6% (male 7,095,117/female 6,763,759)
15-64 years: 53% (male 8,436,716/female 8,008,463)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 366,642/female 386,300) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17.6 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 17.6 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.67% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
46.6 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.34 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 160.23 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 164.77 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 155.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 43.34 years
male: 43.16 years
female: 43.53 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.69 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.01% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria is a high risk countrywide below 2,000 meters from March through November
animal contact disease: rabies (2005)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%
Definition Field Listing
Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 19%, other 1%
Definition Field Listing
Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashtu (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 36%
male: 51%
female: 21% (1999 est.)
People - note:
Definition Field Listing
of the estimated 4 million refugees in October 2001, 2.3 million have returned
   Government    Afghanistan Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form: Afghanestan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Islamic republic
Definition Field Listing
name: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 12 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
34 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Daykondi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khowst, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nurestan, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Panjshir, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol
Definition Field Listing
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Definition Field Listing
new constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
according to the new constitution, no law should be "contrary to Islam"; the state is obliged to create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice, protection of human dignity, protection of human rights, realization of democracy, and to ensure national unity and equality among all ethnic groups and tribes; the state shall abide by the UN charter, international treaties, international conventions that Afghanistan signed, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; former King ZAHIR Shah holds the honorific, "Father of the Country," and presides symbolically over certain occasions, but lacks any governing authority; the honorific is not hereditary
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004)
cabinet: 25 ministers; note - under the new constitution, ministers are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly
elections: the president and two vice presidents are elected by direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote in the first round of voting, the two candidates with the most votes will participate in a second round; a president can only be elected for two terms; election last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Hamid KARZAI elected president; percent of vote - Hamid KARZAI 55.4%, Yunus QANUNI 16.3%, Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ 11.6%, Abdul Rashid DOSTAM 10.0%, Abdul Latif PEDRAM 1.4%, Masooda JALAL 1.2%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 249 seats), directly elected for five-year terms, and the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats, one-third elected from provincial councils for four-year terms, one-third elected from local district councils for three-year terms - provincial councils elected temporary members to fill these seats until district councils are formed, and one-third presidential appointees for five-year terms; the presidential appointees will include 2 representatives of Kuchis and 2 representatives of the disabled; half of the current slate of presidential appointees are women)
note: on rare occasions the government may convene a Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; it is made up of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils
elections: last held 18 September 2005 (next to be held for the Wolesi Jirga by September 2009; next to be held for the provincial councils to the Meshrano Jirga by September 2008)
election results: the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system used in the election did not make use of political party slates; most candidates ran as independents
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
the constitution establishes a nine-member Stera Mahkama or Supreme Court (its nine justices are appointed for 10-year terms by the president with approval of the Wolesi Jirga) and subordinate High Courts and Appeals Courts; there is also a minister of justice; a separate Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission established by the Bonn Agreement is charged with investigating human rights abuses and war crimes
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
note - includes only political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice; De Afghan Watan Islami Gond [Mohammad Osman SALEKZADA]; De Afghanistan De Mili Mubarizeeno Islami Gond [Amanat NINGARHAREE]; De Afghanistan De Mili Wahdat Wolesi Tahreek [Abdul Hakim NOORZAI]; De Afghanistan De Solay Ghorzang Gond [Shahnawaz TANAI]; De Afghanistan De Solay Mili Islami Gond [Shah Mohammood Popal ZAI]; Hezb-e Esteqlal-e-Mili Afghanistan [Taj Mohammad WARDAK]; Hezb-e Hambastagee Mili Aqwam-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Zarif NASERI]; Hezb-e Harakat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Ali JAWID]; Hezb-e Jamihat-e-Islami [Ustad RABBANI]; Hezb-e Paiwand Mihahani Afghanistan [Sayed Kamal SADAT]; Hezb-e-Aarman-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Ilhaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE]; Hezb-e-Aazaadi Khwahan Maihan [Abdul Hadi DABEER]; Hezb-e-Aazadee Khwahan Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Feda Mohammad EHSAS]; Hezb-e-Adalat-e-Islami Afghanistan [Mohammad Kabir MARZBAN]; Hezb-e-Afghan Melat [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; Hezb-e-Afghanistan-e-Naween [Mohammad Yunis QANUNI]; Hezb-e-Afghanistan-e-Wahid [Mohammad Wasil RAHIMEE]; Hezb-e-Azadee-e-Afghanistan [Ilaj Abdul MALEK]; Hezb-e-Democracy Afghanistan [Tawos ARAB]; Hezb-e-Domcrat-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Kabir RANJBAR]; Hezb-e-Eatedal-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan [Qara Bik Eized YAAR]; Hezb-e-Eqtedar-e-Mili [Sayed Mustafa KAZEMI]; Hezb-e-Falah-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad ZAREEF]; Hezb-e-Hambastagee Mili Jawanan-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; Hezb-e-Hambastagee-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Khaleq NEMAT]; Hezb-e-Harakat-e-Islami Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Ilhaj Said Hussain ANWARY]; Hezb-e-Harakat-e-Mili Wahdat-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Nadir AATASH]; Hezb-e-Ifazat Az Uqooq-e-Bashar Wa Inkishaf-e-Afghanistan [Baryalai NASRATI]; Hezb-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan-e-Jawan [Sayed Jawad HUSSINEE]; Hezb-e-Isteqlal-e-Afghanistan [Dr. Ghulam Farooq NEJRABEE]; Hezb-e-Jamahat-ul-Dawat ilal Quran-wa-Sunat-e-Afghanistan [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Hezb-e-Jamhoree Khwahane-Afghanistan [Sebghatullah SANJAR]; Hezb-e-Junbish Democracy Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Sharif NAZARI]; Hezb-e-Junbish Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan [Sayed NOORULLAH]; Hezb-e-Kangra-e-Mili-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Latif PEDRAM]; Hezb-e-Kar Wa Tawsiha-e-Afghanistan [Zulfiqar OMID]; Hezb-e-Lebral-e-Aazadee Khwa-e-Afghanistan [Ajmal SUHAIL]; Hezb-e-Majmeh Mili Faleen-Sulh-e-Afghanistan [Shamsul Haq Noor SHAMS]; Hezb-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah ASAR]; Hezb-e-Mardom-e-Mosalman-e-Afghanistan [Besmellah JOYAN]; Hezb-e-Mili Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid ARYAN]; Hezb-e-Mili Heward [GHULAM MOHAMMAD]; Hezb-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan [Rohullah LOUDIN]; Hezb-e-Mili Wahdat-e-Aqwam-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANI]; Hezb-e-Mutahed Mili [Noorul Haq ULOOMI]; Hezb-e-Nahzat-e-Aazadee Wa Democracy-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Raqib Jawid KOHISTANEE]; Hezb-e-Nahzat-e-Hambastagee Mili-e-Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Eshaq GAILANEE]; Hezb-e-Nakhbagan-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Hamid JAWAD]; Hezb-e-Paiwand Mili Afghanistan [Sayed Mansoor NADREEI]; Hezb-e-Rastakhaiz-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Sayed Zahir Qayed Omul BELADI]; Hezb-e-Refah-e-Afghanistan [Meer Asef ZAEEFI]; Hezb-e-Refah-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Mia Gul WASIQ]; Hezb-e-Refah-e-Mili Afghanistan [Mohammad Hassan JAHFAREE]; Hezb-e-Resalat-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Noor Aqa ROEENE]; Hezb-e-Sahadat-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Hezb-e-Sahadat-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Osman SALEKZADA]; Hezb-e-Subat-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Same KHAROTI]; Hezb-e-Sulh Wa Wahdat-e-Mili-e-Afghanistan [Gulabuddin Shir ZAEE]; Hezb-e-Sulh-e-Mili Islami Aqwam-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Qaher SHARIATEE]; Hezb-e-Tafahum Wa Democracy-e-Afghanistan [Ahamad SHAHEEN]; Hezb-e-Tahreek Wahdat-e-Mili-e-Afghanistan [Sultan Mohammad GHAZI]; Hezb-e-Tahreek Wahdat-ul-Musimeen Afghanistan [Wazir Mohammad WAHDAT]; Hezb-e-Tanzim Jabha Mili Nejat-e-Afghanistan [Seghatullah MOJADDEDI]; Hezb-e-Taraqee Democrat Afghanistan [Wali ARYA]; Hezb-e-Taraqee Mili Afghanistan [Dr. Aref BAKTASH]; Hezb-e-Umat-e-Islam-e-Afghanistan [Toran Noor Aqa Ahmad ZAI]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Karim KHALILI]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami-e-Melat-e-Afghanistan [Qurban Ali URFANI]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Mili Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid JALILI]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad AKBAREE]; Mahaz-e-Mili Islami Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Ahmad GAILANEE]; Mili Dreez Gong [Habibullah JANBDAD]; Nahzat-e-Hakemyat-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan [Hayatullah SUBHANEE]; Nahzat-e-Mili Afghanistan [Ahmad Wali MASOOUD]; Tanzim Daawat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Rasoul SAYYAF]; (20 August 2005)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Said Tayeb JAWAD
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] 202-483-6410
FAX: [1] 202-483-6488
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald E. NEUMANN
embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [00 93] (20) 230-0436
FAX: [00 93] (20) 230-1364
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal vertical bands of black (hoist), red, and green, with a gold emblem centered on the red band; the emblem features a temple-like structure encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a bold Islamic inscription above
   Economy    Afghanistan Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict. The economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector, and service sector growth. Real GDP growth probably exceeded 8% in 2006. Despite the progress of the past few years, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid, agriculture, and trade with neighboring countries. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, and the Afghan Government's inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan's living standards from its current status, among the lowest in the world. While the international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $24 billion at three donors' conferences since 2002, Kabul will need to overcome a number of challenges. Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing opium trade generate roughly $3 billion in illicit economic activity and looms as one of Kabul's most serious policy concerns. Other long-term challenges include: budget sustainability, job creation, corruption, government capacity, and rebuilding war torn infrastructure.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$21.5 billion (2004 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$7.095 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.4% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$800 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 38%
industry: 24%
services: 38%
note: data exclude opium production (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 80%
industry: 10%
services: 10% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
40% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
53% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.3% (2005 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $269 million
expenditures: $561 million; including capital expenditures of $41.7 million
note: Afghanistan has also received $273 million from the Reconstruction Trust Fund and $63 million from the Law and Order Trust Fund (FY04-05 budget est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
Definition Field Listing
small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
734.3 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
782.9 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
100 million kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20 million cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
99.96 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$471 million; note - not including illicit exports or reexports (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 25.8%, India 21.2%, Pakistan 20.3%, Finland 4.1% (2005)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.87 billion (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Pakistan 38.6%, US 9.5%, Germany 5.5%, India 5.2%, Turkey 4.1%, Turkmenistan 4% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8 billion in bilateral debt, mostly to Russia; Afghanistan has $500 million in debt to Multilateral Development Banks (2004)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
international pledges made by more than 60 countries and international financial institutions at the Berlin Donors Conference for Afghan reconstruction in March 2004 reached $8.9 billion for 2004-09
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
afghani (AFA)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
afghanis per US dollar - 541 (2005), 48 (2004), 49 (2003), 41 (2002), note, in 2002, the afghani was revalued and the currency stabilized at about 50 afghanis to the dollar; before 2002, the market rate varied widely from the official rate
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
21 March - 20 March
   Communications    Afghanistan Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
100,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.2 million (2005)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: very limited telephone and telegraph service
domestic: telephone service is improving with the licensing of four wireless telephone service providers by 2005; approximately 4 in 100 Afghans own a wireless telephone; telephone main lines remain limited.
international: country code - 93; five VSAT's installed in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Jalalabad provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 21, FM 23, shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pashtu, Afghan Persian (Dari), Urdu, and English) (2003)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
at least 10 (one government-run central television station in Kabul and regional stations in nine of the 34 provinces; the regional stations operate on a reduced schedule; also, in 1997, there was a station in Mazar-e-Sharif reaching four northern Afghanistan provinces) (1998)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22 (2006)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30,000 (2005)
Communications - note:
Definition Field Listing
in March 2003, 'af' was established as Afghanistan's domain name; Internet access is growing through Internet cafes as well as public "telekiosks" in Kabul (2002)
   Transportation    Afghanistan Top of Page
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
46 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 35
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 9 (2006)
Definition Field Listing
9 (2006)
Definition Field Listing
gas 466 km (2006)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 34,782 km
paved: 8,229 km
unpaved: 26,553 km (2004)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,200 km (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
   Military    Afghanistan Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Afghan National Army (includes Afghan Air Force) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
22 years of age; inductees are contracted into service for a 4-year term (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 22-49: 4,952,812
females age 22-49: 4,663,963 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 22-49: 2,662,946
females age 22-49: 2,508,574 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 275,362
females age 22-49: 259,935 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.7% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Afghanistan Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
most Afghan refugees in Pakistan have been repatriated, but thousands still remain in Iran, many at their own choosing; Coalition and Pakistani forces continue to patrol remote tribal areas to control the borders and stem organized terrorist and other illegal cross-border activities; regular meetings between Pakistani and Coalition allies aim to resolve periodic claims of boundary encroachments; regional conflicts over water-sharing arrangements with Amu Darya and Helmand River states
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
IDPs: 200,000-300,000 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and west due to drought and instability) (2005)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
world's largest producer of opium; cultivation dropped 48% to 107,400 hectares in 2005; better weather and lack of widespread disease returned opium yields to normal levels, meaning potential opium production declined by only 10% to 4,475 metric tons; if the entire poppy crop were processed, it is estimated that 526 metric tons of heroin could be processed; source of hashish; many narcotics-processing labs throughout the country; drug trade source of instability and some antigovernment groups profit from the trade; 80-90% of the heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghan opium; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through informal financial networks

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007

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