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Afghanistan Economy Has Suffered From Wars

Aug 18, 2007
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is in Southern Asia and is bordered by Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.

Kabul is the capital city. Other principal cities include Kandahar, Herat and Mazare Sharif.

Afghanistan is very mountainous with plains in the north and southwest. The main rivers are the Kabul and Amudarya.

The climate is arid to semiarid. It has cold winters and dry, hot summers, depending on altitude.

Afghanistan is a landlocked country with mountains, valleys, plains, deserts and rivers.
Cedar, fir, pine and oak trees grow in its forested areas. Wildlife includes gerbils, foxes, goats, sheep, deer, wild cats, bears, jackals and wolves. Deforestation and desertification are among the country's environmental problems.

Over two decades of war in Afghanistan has left the country with a housing problem, especially in Kabul. Since the fall of the Taliban, over a million refugees have arrived in the capital. Many people live in overcrowded houses, while others live in makeshift shelters such as tents and abandoned buildings. A plan is currently underway to build more apartments in the city but many fear they will not be able to afford them.

World Heritage sites have also been listed on World Heritage in Danger. Afghanistans World Heritage sites are the Minaret of Jam and the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Baniyan Valley. The Baniyan Valley site suffered a great loss in March 2001 when the Taliban destroyed two standing Buddha statues.

The population was estimated at 31,056,997 in 2006. Over forty percent of the people are Pashtun, others are Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek.

There are a number of languages spoken in Afghanistan and many of the people are bilingual.

The food is quite spicy and meals are often served with yoghurt and pickles. Naan bread accompanies every meal and rice is also a staple food. Different types of kebabs are popular. Pilau is a favourite main dish, made with rice, lamb or chicken, carrots and raisins. Dairy products such as cheese and eggs are part of the diet.

Vegetables grown are aubergines, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, leeks, onions, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes. Fruits include apples, apricots, figs, grapes, mulberries, pomegranates and watermelons. Nuts are often used in sweets, such as baklava and halva. Tea, either black or green, is the most popular drink.

For over two decades the economy has suffered from wars. Severe drought in 1998, 2002 and the 1998 earthquake have added to the countries difficulties.

The agricultural sector provides employment for a large percentage of the population. Agricultural products include wheat, vegetables, almonds, walnuts, fruit and opium. Karakul sheep are reared and wool is an important export.

Industry is based on agricultural products and raw materials such as natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt and precious and semiprecious stones. Industries include cement, fertilizer, soap, furniture, shoes, textiles and hand woven carpets.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Afghanistan Rental Site
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