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About Afghanistan

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Reconstruction

How is Afghanistan being rebuilt?

In a span of 25 years, the Afghanistan economy has endured many extreme economic systems. From communism to a medieval form religious conservatism, these experimentations have been compounded by the long years of wars, foreign interventions, and severe drought. By the end of Taliban's regime, the country's formal and informal institutions as well as its infrastructure were destroyed. The result was a country with more than half of its people living in absolute poverty.

Rebuilding Afghanistan has required assistance in every sector of society, including agriculture, health, education, and job creation. The following are some of the areas that have been identified as the first tier for assistance and in the rebuilding the Afghan economy. Organizations, such as USAID, are contributing to the agriculture reconstruction in Afghanistan by renovating irrigation systems, supplying fertilizer and seeds and building roads to markets centers. Training, demonstration centers and farm-related business training are also being offered to farmers to help them augment their profits. Consequently, agricultural production has almost doubled and led to an increase in farmers' incomes.

Afghanistan's infrastructure has suffered immense physical destruction. The experience of the past 27 years has left many villages and some larger cities partially destroyed. Kabul, the capital of the country, endured massive destruction. Today, Afghanistan is rebuilding its infrastructure road by road, and is nearing completion of its Ring Road Highway system. When complete, all Central Asian capitals will be less than 32 hours from the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

Creating short-term employment opportunities that will benefit approximately three million Afghans is another top priority of the Government of Afghanistan. Parallel rural, agricultural, and industrial development is ongoing in most provinces in Afghanistan.

How is the Government of Afghanistan fighting against narcotics?

Narcotics pose a key threat to Afghanistan’s stability, as the drug trade is intimately connected to regional terrorism throughout South Asia. The proceeds of this deadly trade go not only to criminals, but also to fund terrorism globally. We consider the fight against narcotics in Afghanistan part of the war on terror.

The Government of Afghanistan is pursuing a long-term, holistic approach to fight the war on narcotics. Our National Drug Control Strategy combines eradication with providing alternative crops and alternative livelihoods for farmers, and an increased focus on regional cooperation, law enforcement, and judicial reform. New counter-narcotics laws have been approved and a special drug court established in Kabul. Hundreds of judges, investigators, and prosecutors have received specialized training, and major traffickers have been extradited to the US.

Eradication efforts in Afghanistan are improving. This year the government has eradicated over 18,000 Hectares of poppy fields. In 2005, Afghanistan security forces seized approximately 150 metric tons of opium and 35 metric tons of heroin, shut down 247 clandestine drug labs and arrested or detained 50 traffickers.

At the same time, the government is committed to providing rural areas of Afghanistan with the reconstruction necessary to stimulate economic activity and pave the way for new job opportunities. But by bringing roads, electricity, and micro-credit, we are offering our most vulnerable citizens a way out of the drug trade. More than 10,000 kilometers of road have been built or improved since the Taliban fell. And at least 3,000 kilometers more are under construction. Afghanistan’s agriculture sector has greatly improved, with over 140 farm markets constructed and 2.5 million Afghans benefiting from irrigation and road projects linking farms to market. 4,000 acres of fruit and nut orchards have been planted and more than 1 million acres of irrigation equipment has been rehabilitated, resulting in a 40 percent increase in cereal production and a 46 percent increase in wheat production since 2004.


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