Afghanistan's Status: The Human Costs Of Conflict
20 years of U.S.-backed 'nation-building' cost American taxpayers almost $300 million per day for 20 years according to Forbes. Like Iraq and Libya that it supposedly led to a "democratic reconstruction", Afghanistan faces adversity, poverty, and instability.
Media At Gunpoint: Ranked 117 in 175 countries on press freedom this year. Over 30 journalists were killed this year, including Reuters journalist Danish Siddique. No Opportunities: Employment to Population Rank 155 in 178 countries in 2020. This is the lowest ratio in the South Asian region. This promotes extremism by leaving no livelihood options open. The Embattled Generation: In 2019, Afghanistan’s Infant Mortality Rate ranking was 166/191 countries. Under-5 Mortality ranked 165. Infants, children, and women in Afghanistan are amongst the most vulnerable groups in the world. Lack of healthcare, orthodox norms, and perpetual conflict have not allowed any comprehensive measures to be effective. Rights, Freedoms Crushed: Political Rights Ranked 140/193 countries, Civil Liberties at 164 in 2021. Opposition to the Taliban generally attracts violence, women at serious risk. Wasting the Future: One of the world’s top places with youth out of school or unemployed. Ranked 176/178 countries in 2019. Afghanistan is failing to reap its demographic advantage and prepare its citizens for the role of modern nation-building. Conflict and displacement threatens to create a vicious spiral. Financial fragility: With a yearly Per Capita Income of $507 in 2019, Afghanistan ranked 12 places above the bottom amongst 180 countries. This points to the failure of the U.S.-backed government to create sustainable opportunities for the people. Afghanistan's infrastructure has been developed mainly for geopolitical reasons and not with the people's material needs in mind. Female Health and Rights: Women’s rights are the flashpoint of the Taliban’s policies. Orthodox and conflicted Afghanistan placed 166/172 countries for mean years of girls’ schooling in 2019. Inequality of women is deeply entrenched and impacts their health, opportunities, and freedom from violence. Healthcare Collapse: 2019 life expectancy ranked 148/183 countries. Afghanistan ranked 173/182 for Maternal Mortality in 2017. Pandemic woes: Afghanistan ranked 97/99 among countries having administered at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. With health services frayed, sanctions imposed, and the government's recognition in limbo across the world, it is unlikely that Afghanistan will receive vaccines on a large scale soon.