Afghanistan

source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)

SEE UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

   Introduction    Afghanistan
Background:
Definition Field Listing 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, 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. 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.
   Geography    Afghanistan
Location:
Definition Field Listing Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing 33 00 N, 65 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing none (landlocked)
Climate:
Definition Field Listing arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
Land use:
Definition Field Listing arable land: 12.13%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 87.66% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing 27,200 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 65 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 23.26 cu km/yr (2%/0%/98%)
per capita: 779 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 32,738,376 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 44.6% (male 7,474,394/female 7,121,145)
15-64 years: 53% (male 8,901,880/female 8,447,983)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 383,830/female 409,144) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 17.6 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 17.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 2.626% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 45.82 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 19.56 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing 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: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 154.67 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 158.88 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 150.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 44.21 years
male: 44.04 years
female: 44.39 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6.58 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0.01% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing 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 (2008)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 19%, other 1%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing 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 Field Listing 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):
Definition Field Listing total: 8 years
male: 11 years
female: 4 years (2004)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
   Government    Afghanistan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing Islamic republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing 34 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Daykondi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khowst, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nurestan, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Panjshir, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol
Independence:
Definition Field Listing 19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing new constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing based on mixed civil and Shari'a law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; former King ZAHIR Shah held the honorific, "Father of the Country," and presided symbolically over certain occasions but lacked any governing authority; the honorific is not hereditary; King ZAHIR Shah died on 23 July 2007
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004)
cabinet: 25 ministers; note - under the new constitution, ministers are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly
elections: the president and two vice presidents are 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; a president can only be elected for two terms; election last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Hamid KARZAI elected president; percent of vote - Hamid KARZAI 55.4%, Yunus QANUNI 16.3%, Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ 11.6%, Abdul Rashid DOSTAM 10.0%, Abdul Latif PEDRAM 1.4%, Masooda JALAL 1.2%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 249 seats), directly elected for five-year terms, and the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats, one-third 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)
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 18 September 2005 (next to be held for the Wolesi Jirga by September 2009; next to be held for the provincial councils to the Meshrano Jirga by September 2008)
election results: the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system used in the election did not make use of political party slates; most candidates ran as independents
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing 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 [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 [Ilaj 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]; Islamic Party of the Afghan Land [Mohammad Hassan FEROZKHEL]; Islamic People's Movement of Afghanistan [Ilhaj 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 [Ustad 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. Aref 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 Bik Eized YAAR]; 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 United Front [Burhanuddin RABBANI] (a coalition); 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 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 Qayed Omul BELADI]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Mia Gul WASIQ]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Progressive Democratic Party of Afghanistan [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 [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:
Definition Field Listing other: religious groups; tribal leaders
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ADB, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, 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:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador Said Tayeb JAWAD
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:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador William B. WOOD
embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [93] 700 108 001
FAX: [00 93] (20) 230-1364
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing 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
   Economy    Afghanistan
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing 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. Real GDP growth exceeded 7% in 2007. 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, and the Afghan Government's inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan's living standards from its current level, among the lowest in the world. International pledges made by more than 60 countries and international financial institutions at the Berlin Donors Conference for Afghan reconstruction in March 2004 reached $8.9 billion for 2004-09. While the international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $24 billion at three donors' conferences since 2002, Kabul will need to overcome a number of challenges. Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing opium trade generate roughly $4 billion in illicit economic activity and looms as one of Kabul's most serious policy concerns. Other long-term challenges include: budget sustainability, job creation, corruption, government capacity, and rebuilding war torn infrastructure.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $35 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $8.842 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 11.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $1,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 38%
industry: 24%
services: 38%
note: data exclude opium production (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 15 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 80%
industry: 10%
services: 10% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 40% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing 53% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 13% (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing revenues: $715 million
expenditures: $2.6 billion
note: Afghanistan has also received $273 million from the Reconstruction Trust Fund and $63 million from the Law and Order Trust Fund (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
Industries:
Definition Field Listing small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 754.2 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 801.4 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 100 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4,120 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 19.18 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 19.18 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 47.53 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $274 million; note - not including illicit exports or reexports (2006)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing India 23.7%, Pakistan 22.7%, US 21.3%, Russia 4.1% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $3.823 billion (2006)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing Pakistan 37.2%, US 11.1%, India 5%, Germany 4.2% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing $2.775 billion (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $8 billion in bilateral debt, mostly to Russia; Afghanistan has $500 million in debt to Multilateral Development Banks (2004)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $NA
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing afghani (AFA)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing afghanis per US dollar - NA (2007), 46 (2006), 47.7 (2005), 48 (2004), 49 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing 21 March - 20 March
   Communications    Afghanistan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 280,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.4 million (2008)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing general assessment: limited landline telephone service; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks in major cities
domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service is improving rapidly
international: country code - 93; five VSAT's installed in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Jalalabad provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 21, FM 5, shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pashto, Dari (Afghan Persian), Urdu, and English) (2006)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing at least 7 (1 government-run central television station in Kabul and regional stations in 6 of the 34 provinces) (2006)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing .af
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 21 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 580,000 (2007)
Communications - note:
Definition Field Listing Internet access is growing through Internet cafes as well as public "telekiosks" in Kabul (2005)
   Transportation    Afghanistan
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 46 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 12
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 34
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 9 (2007)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing 9 (2007)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing gas 466 km (2007)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 34,782 km
paved: 8,229 km
unpaved: 26,553 km (2004)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1,200 km (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2007)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
   Military    Afghanistan
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Afghan Armed Forces: Afghan National Army (ANA, includes Afghan National Army Air Corps) (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing 22 years of age; inductees are contracted into service for a 4-year term (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 7,431,147
females age 16-49: 7,004,819 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 4,234,180
females age 16-49: 3,946,685 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 371,451
female: 351,295 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Afghanistan
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing IDPs: 132,246 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and west due to drought and instability) (2007)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation increased 17% to a near-record 202,000 hectares in 2007; good growing conditions pushed potential opium production to a record 8,000 metric tons, up 42% from last year; if the entire opium crop were processed, 947 metric tons of heroin potentially could be produced; drug trade is a source of instability and the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the drug trade; widespread corruption impedes 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


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Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

Since 2003, January 19