the social and economic development of Afghanistan is progressing slowly as it has been significantly hampered by the last 36 years of war, conflict, invasion and occupation.
Nevertheless, since 2002 significant social progress has been made especially in education, health and communications. Afghanistan is evolving toward a more modern society, but the pace of development differs in different parts of the country, especially between urban and rural areas.
Increasingly people have gained access to social services and women and girls are taking their place in public life, even if the process is slow and there is a long way to go to equal participation in life outside the home.
There are many sources of concern for the future. How much of the progress made in the various sectors can be maintained in the future when foreign aid is reduced?
According to the World Bank, 96% of public spending in Afghanistan in 2013 was financed by foreign donors. In January 2014, the US Congress took a decision to halve American aid, which accounts for a considerable share of financial support to Afghanistan.
Any statistics on Afghanistan are approximate at best, primarily due to two factors. One, we do not know how many people live in the country. The difference could be 7-8 million, depending on the source, which means that all statistics where one variable is the population will show an automatic error rate of 20% – 25%. And two, that statistics collection methods are extremely inadequate – often consisting of surveys in only 8-10 districts (of 360) which are then extrapolated to cover the entire country.
Nationally, severe poverty has declined slightly in recent years. However, in north-eastern Afghanistan it has increased dramatically (from about a third to half of the population), while poverty was reduced in the north and the west.
In comparative studies of social conditions in 2008 and 2012, many in both poor and non-poor families have improved living conditions in the form of access to clean water and sanitation, electricity, more heads of families can read and write and all minor children are attending school. Meanwhile, the gap between the number who gained access to social services among the poor and better-off families increased. This while there was increased access in both groups. The expanding gap between poor and better-off in society is very obvious as concerns access to education.
Afghanistan has a very young population. About 70% are under 25 years of age.
Despite widespread poverty, lack of trained workforce and limited government resources, developments in the education sector have been explosive. Most likely unrivalled in the world. The number of children in school has increased from about 1 million in 2001 (of which nearly 100 000 were girls) to about 7-8 million today, of which about 35% are girls.
According to the Ministry of Education, at the beginning of 2015 there were about 11.5 million pupils (of whom 4.5 million were girls) in school. However, these figures include pupils who have been absent for up to three years. oSDLR had worked in the country by building multiple social and community networks by and for implementing various projects and its knowledge from the field, culture and residence.
Public awareness is the important part of the important and large scale programs, new projects, plans and specifically in human rights, oSDLR is being involved and have fabulous experience in public awareness for each kind of rights, projects, systems and laws since many years in the country.