Afghanistan

A look at one of the World's Bottom Billion Countries

Background

Afghanistan served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won its independence from the British in 1919. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime. The USSR withdrew from Afghan in 1889 under pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist rebels. A series of 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. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, U.S., Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance forces toppled the Taliban for the sheltering of leader Osama Bin Ladin.

Statistics

Population- 33.4 million

Population growth rate- 2.22%

Literacy rate- 28.1%

Female- 48.2%

Fixed and mobile telephone subscribers per 100 people- 38.2

Life expectancy (at birth)- 49 Years

Primary school dropout rate- 54.6%

Per capita income- $1000

Poverty Rate- 36%

Human Development Index (HDI)- 0.374

The Developmental Traps

CONFLICT- It is safe to say, Afghan in recent days have been facing difficulties with conflict through civil and international wars. After more than ten years of intervention in Afghanistan (through U.S. actions), the Taliban and other groups still remain resilient. The government is weak and the international community has be tired of fighting this same conflict. The war in Afghanistan has reached a stalemate and the future of Afghan's stability depends on the political reconciliation with the Taliban group. The U.S government in early 2011 began to openly pursue a negotiated solution. These wars heavily impacted not only the peace and strength of the country but also the economy. Funding the war was over a 6 Trillion USD affair! It not only affected Afghanistan but only the countries who had to intervene to help their situation and the eradication of the Taliban. Afghan has one of the least developed health care systems also. The absence of potable water in most parts of the country is responsible for the widespread incidence of waterborne diseases. No more than 1/8 of the population had aceess to safe water during the 1990's. A very few number of people have access to health care and medical training is nonexistant. The medical aid is provided in a large part by international and non government organizations. There are very minimal services offered by the government.


GOVERNMENT- Afghanistan definitely has a weak central government. They have relied way more on foreign subsidies and export taxes than on internal taxes to finance its large but limited scope of activities. The Taliban's presence have caused such a weak government, because the actual government of Afghan cannot control its nation. The nation is controlled by the Taliban force. Thus, Afghan needs the aid of outside countries to help them overcome this problem.

Afghanistan Relief Organization

The Afghanistan Relief Organization (ARO) has worked on relief efforts in Afghanistan since 1998. ARO has distributed food, medicine, hygience supplies, school supplies, and winter relief supplies and provides education to over 800 youth and adult students. ARO staff is based on volunteers in the US and in Afghan. They can help accommodate for both health and other humanitarian needs. ARO provides as much help they can to further advance Afghanistan into a better social and economic standing by helping their needs and low supplies.