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Afghanistan Main Page

 

 
Background:
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. A series of subsequent 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 in New York City and Washington, D.C., 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, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. Karzai was re-elected in August 2009 for a second term. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability - particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government.
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Geography ::Afghanistan
Location:
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Geographic coordinates:
33 00 N, 65 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 652,230 sq km
country comparison to the world: 41
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
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
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
Current Weather
arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Terrain:
mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Noshak 7,485 m
Natural resources:
natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
Land use:
arable land: 12.13%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 87.66% (2005)
Irrigated land:
27,200 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
65 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 23.26 cu km/yr (2%/0%/98%)
per capita: 779 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
Environment - current issues:
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:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
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
Population:
29,121,286
country comparison to the world: 41
note: this is a significantly revised figure; the previous estimate of 33,609,937 was extrapolated from the last Afghan census held in 1979, which was never completed because of the Soviet invasion; a new Afghan census is scheduled to take place in 2010 (July 2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 43.6% (male 6,343,611/female 6,036,673)
15-64 years: 54% (male 7,864,422/female 7,470,617)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 326,873/female 353,520) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 18 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 18 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.471% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
Birth rate:
38.11 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
Death rate:
17.65 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
Net migration rate:
4.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
Urbanization:
urban population: 24% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 5.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
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: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 151.5 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 2
male: 155.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 147.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 44.65 years
country comparison to the world: 221
male: 44.45 years
female: 44.87 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.5 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.01% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
Nationality:
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
Ethnic groups:
Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%
Religions:
Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%
Languages:
Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 28.1%
male: 43.1%
female: 12.6% (2000 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 8 years
male: 11 years
female: 5 years (2004)
Education expenditures:
NA
 
Government ::Afghanistan
Country name:
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:
Islamic republic
Capital:
name: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul
Independence:
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitution:
constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004; ratified 26 January 2004
Legal system:
based on mixed civil and sharia law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); First Vice President Mohammad FAHIM Khan (since 19 November 2009); Second Vice President Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); First Vice President Mohammad FAHIM Khan (since 19 November 2009); Second Vice President Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004)
cabinet: 25 ministers; note - ministers are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: the president and two vice presidents 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; election last held on 20 August 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
election results: Hamid KARZAI reelected president; percent of vote (first round) - Hamid KARZAI 49.67%, Abdullah ABDULLAH 30.59%, Ramazan BASHARDOST 10.46%, Ashraf GHANI 2.94%; other 6.34%; note - ABDULLAH conceded the election to KARZAI following the first round vote
Legislative branch:
the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats, one-third of members elected from provincial councils for four-year terms, one-third elected from local district councils for three-year terms, and one-third nominated by the president for five-year terms) and the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 250 seats); members directly elected for five-year terms
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 on 18 September 2010 (next election expected in 2015)
election results: NA
Judicial branch:
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:
Afghanistan Peoples' Treaty Party [Sayyed Amir TAHSEEN]; Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization [Abdul Rasoul SAYYAF]; Afghanistan's Islamic Nation Party [Toran Noor Aqa Ahmad ZAI]; Afghanistan's National Islamic Party [Rohullah LOUDIN]; Afghanistan's Welfare Party [Meer Asef ZAEEFI]; Afghan Social Democratic Party [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; Afghan Society for the Call to the Koran and Sunna [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Comprehensive Movement of Democracy and Development of Afghanistan Party [Sher Mohammad BAZGAR]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Al-hajj Mohammad Tawos ARAB]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Kabir RANJBAR]; Elites People of Afghanistan Party [Abdul Hamid JAWAD]; Freedom and Democracy Movement of Afghanistan [Abdul Raqib Jawid KOHISTANEE]; Freedom Party of Afghanistan [Abdul MALEK]; Freedom Party of Afghanistan [Dr. Ghulam Farooq NEJRABEE]; Hizullah-e-Afghanistan [Qari Ahmad ALI]; Human Rights Protection and Development Party of Afghanistan [Baryalai NASRATI]; Islamic Justice Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Kabir MARZBAN]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad Ali JAWID]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Mukhtar MUFLEH]; Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Khalid FAROOQI, Abdul Hadi ARGHANDIWAL]; Islamic Party of the Afghan Land [Mohammad Hassan FEROZKHEL]; Islamic People's Movement of Afghanistan [Al-haj Said Hussain ANWARY]; Islamic Society of Afghanistan [Ustad RABBANI]; Islamic Unity of the Nation of Afghanistan Party [Qurban Ali URFANI]; Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Karim KHALILI]; Islamic Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan [Haji Mohammad MOHAQQEQ]; Labor and Progress of Afghanistan Party [Zulfiqar OMID]; Muslim People of Afghanistan Party [Besmellah JOYAN]; Muslim Unity Movement Party of Afghanistan [Wazir Mohammad WAHDAT]; National and Islamic Sovereignty Movement Party of Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah AHMADZAI]; National Congress Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Latif PEDRAM]; National Country Party [Ghulam MOHAMMAD]; National Development Party of Afghanistan [Dr. Assef BAKTASH]; National Freedom Seekers Party [Abdul Hadi DABEER]; National Independence Party of Afghanistan [Taj Mohammad WARDAK]; National Islamic Fighters Party of Afghanistan [Amanat NINGARHAREE]; National Islamic Front of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Ahmad GAILANEE]; National Islamic Moderation Party of Afghanistan [Qara Baik IZADYAR]; National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Sayed NOORULLAH]
National Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad AKBAREE]; National Movement of Afghanistan [Ahmad Wali MASOOUD]; National Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid ARYAN]; National Patch of Afghanistan Party [Sayed Kamal SADAT]; National Peace Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Shah Mohammood Popal ZAI]; National Peace & Islamic Party of the Tribes of Afghanistan [Abdul Qaher SHARIATEE]; National Peace & Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Qader IMAMI]; National Prosperity and Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Osman SALEKZADA]; National Prosperity Party [Mohammad Hassan JAHFAREE]; National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Eshaq GAILANEE]; National Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Sayed Mansoor NADREEI]; National Sovereignty Party [Sayed Mustafa KAZEMI]; National Stability Party [Mohammad Same KHAROTI]; National Stance Party [Habibullah JANEBDAR]; National Tribal Unity Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANI]; National Unity Movement [Sultan Mohammad GHAZI]; National Unity Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad Nadir AATASH]; National Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid JALILI]; New Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Yunis QANUNI]; Peace and National Welfare Activists Society [Shamsul al-Haq Noor SHAMS]; Peace Movement [Shahnawaz TANAI]; People's Aspirations Party of Afghanistan [Ilhaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE]; People's Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Feda Mohammad EHSAS]; People's Liberal Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Ajmal SUHAIL]; People's Message Party of Afghanistan [Noor Aqa WAINEE]; People's Movement of the National Unity of Afghanistan [Abdul Hakim NOORZAI]; People's Party of Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah ASAR]; People's Prosperity Party of Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad ZAREEF]; People's Sovereignty Movement of Afghanistan [Hayatullah SUBHANEE]; People's Uprising Party of Afghanistan [Sayed Zahir Qayedam Al-BELADI]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Miagul WASIQ]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Progressive Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Wali ARYA]; Republican Party [Sebghatullah SANJAR]; Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Khaleq NEMAT]; The Afghanistan's Mujahid Nation's Islamic Unity Movement [Saeedullah SAEED]; The People of Afghanistan's Democratic Movement [Mohammad Sharif NAZARI]; Tribes Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Zarif NASERI]; Understanding and Democracy Party of Afghanistan [Ahamad SHAHEEN]
United Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Wasil RAHIMEE]; United Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Wahidullah SABAWOON]; Young Afghanistan's Islamic Organization [Sayed Jawad HUSSINEE]; Youth Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; note - includes only political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice
Political pressure groups and leaders:
other: religious groups; tribal leaders; ethnically based groups; Taliban
International organization participation:
ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Khojesta F. EBRAHIMKHEL
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:
chief of mission: Ambassador Karl W. EIKENBERRY
embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [93] 0700 108 001
FAX: [93] 0700 108 564
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green, with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and slightly overlapping the other two bands; the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great"), and at bottom center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan; black signifies the past, red is for the blood shed for independence, and green can represent either hope for the future, agricultural prosperity, or Islam
note: Afghanistan had more changes to its national flag in the 20th century than any other country; the colors black, red, and green appeared on most of them
National anthem:
name: "Milli Surood" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Abdul Bari JAHANI/Babrak WASA
note: adopted 2006; the 2004 constitution of the post-Taliban government mandated that a new national anthem should be written containing the phrase "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) and mentioning the names of Afghanistan's ethnic groups
 
Economy ::Afghanistan
Economy - overview:
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. 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, weak governance, and the Afghan Government's inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world. While the international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $67 billion at four donors' conferences since 2002, the Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$29.81 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$27.38 billion (2009 est.)
$22.34 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$16.63 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
8.9% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
22.5% (2009 est.)
3.4% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,000 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
$1,000 (2009 est.)
$800 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 31%
industry: 26%
services: 43%
note: data exclude opium production (2008 est.)
Labor force:
15 million (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 78.6%
industry: 5.7%
services: 15.7% (FY08/09 est.)
Unemployment rate:
35% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
40% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
36% (FY08/09)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
13.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
20.7% (2008 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
15% (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
14.92% (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$3.943 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 100
$2.819 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of broad money:
$4.149 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 125
$2.915 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of domestic credit:
$363.6 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
$20.06 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA
Agriculture - products:
opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
Industries:
small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food-products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity - production:
285.5 million kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Electricity - consumption:
231.1 million kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
230 million kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
Oil - consumption:
5,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
Oil - imports:
4,404 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Natural gas - production:
30 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
Natural gas - consumption:
30 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Natural gas - proved reserves:
49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Current account balance:
-$2.475 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
$85 million (2008 est.)
Exports:
$547 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
$603 million (2008 est.); note - not including illicit exports or reexports
Exports - commodities:
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Exports - partners:
US 26.47%, India 23.09%, Pakistan 17.36%, Tajikistan 12.51% (2009)
Imports:
$5.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$4.5 billion (2007)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Pakistan 26.78%, US 24.81%, India 5.15%, Germany 5.06%, Russia 4.04% (2009)
Debt - external:
$2.7 billion (2008/2009)
country comparison to the world: 134
$8 billion (2004)
Exchange rates:
afghanis (AFA) per US dollar - 50.23 (2009), 50.25 (2008), 50 (2007), 46 (2006), 47.7 (2005), 48 (2004)
 
Communications ::Afghanistan
129,300 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 139
Telephones - mobile cellular:
12 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 57
Telephone system:
general assessment: limited fixed-line telephone service; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks
domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve rapidly
international: country code - 93; multiple VSAT's provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2009)
Broadcast media:
state-owned broadcaster, Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), operates a series of radio and television stations in Kabul and the provinces; an estimated 50 private radio stations, 8 TV networks, and about a dozen international broadcasters are available; more than 30 community-based radio stations broadcasting (2007)
Internet country code:
.af
Internet hosts:
46 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 211
Internet users:
1 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 98
Communications - note:
Internet access is growing through Internet cafes as well as public "telekiosks" in Kabul (2005)
 
Transportation ::Afghanistan
Airports:
53 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 89
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 19
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2010)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 34
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 9 (2010)
Heliports:
11 (2010)
Pipelines:
gas 466 km (2009)
Roadways:
total: 42,150 km
country comparison to the world: 87
paved: 12,350 km
unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)
Waterways:
1,200 km; (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
Ports and terminals:
Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
 
Military ::Afghanistan
Military branches:
Afghan Armed Forces: Afghan National Army (ANA, includes Afghan National Army Air Force, ANAAF) (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
22 years of age; inductees are contracted into service for a 4-year term (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 6,800,888
females age 16-49: 6,413,647 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 3,888,358
females age 16-49: 3,641,998 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 378,996
female: 357,822 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 75
 
Transnational Issues ::Afghanistan
Disputes - international:
Pakistan has built fences in some portions of its border with Afghanistan which remains open in some areas to foreign terrorists and other illegal activities
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
IDPs: 132,246 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and west due to drought and instability) (2007)
Illicit drugs:
world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation decreased 22% to 157,000 hectares in 2008 but remains at a historically high level; less favorable growing conditions in 2008 reduced potential opium production to 5,500 metric tons, down 31 percent from 2007; if the entire opium crop were processed, 648 metric tons of pure heroin potentially could be produced; the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks; regional source of hashish (2008)

 


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