The establishment of an internationally recognised government in Afghanistan has given millions of Afghans hope for peace and prosperity. An estimated 5 million people who fled the country are now returning home. But more than 2 million houses were destroyed or damaged beyond repair, while all basic health and education facilities ceased functioning. Through conflict and war, UN-HABITAT has continued to serve the people of Afghanistan without interruption. Although much work has been done to develop a comprehensive national development framework, considerable resources are needed to translate the framework into tangible improvements in the quality of life of Afghan citizens.
Chronology of events
October 2001: Fall of the Taliban regime
December 2001: Bonn Accord signed presenting political roadmap for Afghan Interim Administration
January 2002: Tokyo Conference pledges US$4.5 billion for reconstruction
June 2002: Loya Jirga selects Hamid Karzai as head of Afghan Transitional Authority
March 2003: First official Government budget presented at Afghanistan Development Forum
January 2004: President Hamid Karzai signs the new constitution, paving the way for elections planned this year.
Afghanistan’s development needs are varied and extensive. Around the time the present government assumed power, only one-third of Afghan children were enrolled in schools, more than 70 per cent of the population was malnourished, and an estimated 15,000 women died every year from pregnancy-related causes. Further, there were five million Afghans as refugees, another 920,000 internally displaced and over 800,000 disabled. The extent of the unmet basic needs is so great that an average Afghan cannot expect to survive beyond a mere 45 years, as compared to 63 years for the region.
(of total population)
Source Human Development Report 2003 (all figures rounded to nearest integer)