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Afghanistan

A landlocked country in south-central Asia, Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Mountains cover most of the landscape, with plains in the north and southwest.

  • Population: 31,822,848
  • Life Expectancy: 61 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 61%
  • School Enrollment: 61%
  • Land Mass: 251,827 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 28%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 99/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 570

Facts about Afghanistan

About 35 percent of Afghans are unemployed and at least 36 percent live below the poverty line.

The World Food Program estimates that over half of children under the age of 5 are malnourished.

Natural disasters affect thousands of people each year, damaging homes and livelihoods.

Afghanistan has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world at only 44 years and the second highest infant mortality rate of 153 deaths out of 1,000 births.

Only about 22 percent of people have access to clean water.

Afghanistan flag

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World Vision in Afghanistan Today

World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Afghanistan to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. Highlights of World Vision’s programs include:

  • Providing healthcare and agricultural assistance to vulnerable households.
  • Offering cash-for-work and other essential programs to help people living in urban areas improve their lives.
  • Striving to reduce food security in rural communities through education and improved infrastructure.
  • Distributing food to schoolchildren to increase enrollment and education success.
  • Educating midwives to help reduce infant mortalities and protect maternal health.
  • Providing adult literacy training in vulnerable communities.

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World Vision History in Afghanistan

World Vision began relief efforts in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

  • Helping communities rebuild economic stability through cash-for-work programs.
  • Increasing children’s access to education by repairing school facilities, building new classrooms, and training teachers.
  • Improving farming and irrigation techniques to strengthen rural communities.
  • Digging wells to provide families with safe, clean water.

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Geography & People

 

Geography and people

A landlocked country in south-central Asia, Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Mountains cover most of the landscape, with plains in the north and southwest.

The climate varies according to elevation; high elevations have colder temperatures while low elevations are mild year-round.

Natural resources include natural gas, petroleum, coal, zinc, copper, talc, lead, iron ore, salt, and precious and semiprecious stones.

The Pashtun people make up about 42 percent of Afghanistan's population, while smaller ethnic groups make up the rest. Nearly 85 percent of Afghans speak the two official languages, Afghan Persian (or Dari) and Pashto. Afghans also speak more than 30 other minor languages.

History

Afghanistan gained independence from British control in 1919. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, starting a long civil war. In the decade of Soviet occupation, more than 1.5 million Afghans were killed, while another 5 million fled the country.

After anti-communist mujahedin armies forced out the communist regime in 1992, the various rebel groups began fighting one another for control. The Taliban seized control of Kabul in 1996 and controlled most of the country by 2000.

The Taliban government fell in 2001, Afghans held their first presidential elections in 2004, with National Assembly elections in 2005. The new government continues to build, but a rising Taliban threat and instability in the south and east endanger growth.

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Prayer Requests for Afghanistan

  • Please pray for the people of Afghanistan and for peace and stability in their country.