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Afghanistan Poverty Profile

Essay by review  •  November 12, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,589 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,273 Views

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I choose Afghanistan to write about because we have had so much going on with that country and my boyfriend is reading a book on the crisis in Islam so I thought it would give us something interesting to talk about! Afghanistan is located in the middle east of the world. There exact spot is 35onorth and 65o east. It is surrounded by Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. Afghanistan is slightly smaller than the size of Texas and has an estimated population of 28,717,213. The land is mostly mountains and desert so it is hard to grow food and it is very hot. It is a semi arid climate with temperate grassland where they have nomadic herding with little or no activity. (US Department of State)


Afghanistan is not a stable government this country is always fighting and can never seem to find peace, which causes economic and social problems to all of the citizens of Afghanistan. In the last year, after the defeat of the Taliban, the people in Afghanistan have established a government through a President named Hamid Karzai. Ethnic and political rivalries plague the country, warlords military power has increased and anti Americanism is strong as tribes in the east and south feel distanced and victimized by the Kabul government and U.S. forces.(Rashid)

President Bush, who leads the way in trying to establish a stable state in Afghanistan, seems more concerned with the military and intelligence war on Al Queda rather than forming a political and economic strategy, which might stabilize the fragile government and start a reconstruction era. Behind Bush's administration is the failure of the international population to deliver on key pledges made to stabilize Kabul and five other major cities and to contribute reconstruction funds. (Rashid)

Personally I feel that if we concentrated more on stabilizing the Afghan people with a firm central government first while keeping Al Queda under a close watch we could reduce a lot of tension in that area of the world and give a much needed hand to people that are in need. It seems as though we have started Afghanistan in the right direction but with more focus on its immediate need, government.


Afghanistan's economy has seen widespread destruction over the past two decades of war. The nation's transportation and communication systems, heavy and small scale industries, education and agricultural infrastructure are among the most seriously damaged sectors that need tremendous attention and investment. Some regions of the country enjoy cross border trading with countries such as Pakistan and Iran, making everyday life pleasant while most regions are war torn or suffering from natural disasters. Afghanistan's economic outlook has improved over the last two years because of the $2 billion they have received in international assistance.

Afghanistan's natural resources are gas, oil, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron, salt, and precious stones. Their GDP is approximately $4Billion and the GDP growth is 28.6% (Bureau of South Asian Affairs). According to the Worldfact Book there are 11. million in the labor force, 80% in agriculture, 10% industry and 10% services. The GDP per capita is $700 (Worldfact book).


Their culture is very different compared to the United States and many other countries, but also similar in ways. The Afghan people have strict rules especially for the women. Women are forced to cover their bodies from head to toe when in the presence of a man. They are denied access to education and proper health care. Afghan women are forbidden to work to support their family and are beaten if these rules are broken.

Afghan life is a little rough. All family members are to live in one house, usually made of stone or mud set in a small village with other families and a small market. The oldest male of the family rules the house and if the rules are broken they will be disowned from their family and beaten. Afghan people do not get the privilege of big supermarkets such as Wal-Mart, but they get to shop from little markets. These markets are set up on the side of the street and sell everything they need. The women must shop every day for their needs and only buy what is needed for that day. Their fruit and crops spoil quickly in the heat, because there is no way to keep them fresh.

Lower class men work in the markets, while the women stay at home. Some women make baskets, blankets, sculptures, and art to be sold on the market. The villages and homes are very dirty. Since 1980, Afghanistan has had the world's largest recorded refugee population. During the Soviet invasion and occupation, 2 million were displaced internally and 6 million refugees fled the country. Today, 3,695,000 Afghans remain refugees and nearly 1 million are internally displaced. (UNHCR)

Afghanistan is composed of four major ethnic groups; Pashtuns (38%), Tajiks

(25%), Hazaras (19%) and Uzbeks (6%). Most Afghans are Muslims (99%). Life expectancy is 42 years, fertility rate is 6.78 children born per woman, infant mortality rate is 167 deaths per 1000 live births. Each year approximately 16,000 mothers die in childbirth. The maternal mortality rate is the 2nd worst in the world. For every1,000 live births, 17 mothers die. Literacy rate is 36% of the population can read and write. (World Factbook)


The health situation in Afghanistan is amongst the worst in the world. Approximately half of the population live in poverty and are unemployed. 1 in 4 children under 5 suffer from moderate and severe wasting, a condition where the ratio of weight to height is abnormally low. (UNICEF) 43% of the population is below the poverty line. (World Factbook)

90 percent of the children are not in school, many children have taken the place of their fathers and mothers as the breadwinners in their families. Some scavenge for scrap metal, wood, or bricks, while others hammer sheet metal, fill potholes, or build coffins. They are lucky to earn five cents an hour. More than one out of every four children in Afghanistan will die before their fifth birthday. The growth of more than half these children is moderately or severely stunted from malnutrition. A UNICEF study has found that the majority of children are highly traumatized and expect to die before reaching adulthood. (UNICEF)



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