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Afghanistan - Open Map
Introduction | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Communication | Transportation | Military

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Economy

Economy - overview: Afghanistan is an extremely poor, landlocked country, highly dependent on farming and livestock raising (sheep and goats). Economic considerations have played second fiddle to political and military upheavals during two decades of war, including the nearly 10-year Soviet military occupation (which ended 15 February 1989). During that conflict one-third of the population fled the country, with Pakistan and Iran sheltering a combined peak of more than 6 million refugees. In early 1999, 1.2 million Afghan refugees remained in Pakistan and about 1.4 million in Iran. Gross domestic product has fallen substantially over the past 20 years because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport. The majority of the population continues to suffer from insufficient food, clothing, housing, and medical care. Inflation remains a serious problem throughout the country. International aid can deal with only a fraction of the humanitarian problem, let alone promote economic development. The economic situation did not improve in 1998-99, as internal civil strife continued, hampering both domestic economic policies and international aid efforts. Numerical data are likely to be either unavailable or unreliable. Afghanistan was by far the largest producer of opium poppies in 1999, and narcotics trafficking is a major source of revenue.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $21 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $800 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 53%
industry: 28.5%
services: 18.5% (1990)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Labor force: 8 million (1997 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 68%, industry 16%, services 16% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate: 8% (1995 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, and cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, oil, coal, copper

Electricity - production: 430 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 41.86%
hydro: 58.14%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 510 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 110 million kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: opium poppies, wheat, fruits, nuts, karakul pelts; wool, mutton

Exports: $80 million (does not include opium) (1996 est.)

Exports - commodities: opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems

Exports - partners: FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, India, UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czech Republic

Imports: $150 million (1996 est.)

Imports - commodities: capital goods, food and petroleum products; most consumer goods

Imports - partners: FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, Singapore, India, South Korea, Germany

Debt - external: $5.5 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: US provided about $70 million in humanitarian assistance in 1997; US continues to contribute to multilateral assistance through the UN programs of food aid, immunization, land mine removal, and a wide range of aid to refugees and displaced persons

Currency: 1 afghani (AF) = 100 puls

Exchange rates: afghanis (Af) per US$1 - 4,700 (January 2000), 4,750 (February 1999), 17,000 (December 1996), 7,000 (January 1995), 1,900 (January 1994), 1,019 (March 1993), 850 (1991); note - these rates reflect the free market exchange rates rather than the official exchange rate, which was fixed at 50.600 afghanis to the dollar until 1996, when it rose to 2,262.65 per dollar, and finally became fixed again at 3,000.00 per dollar in April 1996

Fiscal year: 21 March - 20 March



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