Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Economy, Development, Environment

This priority area covers Afghanistan’s political economy, economic development and poverty, with a focus on sectors with important political and/or rule of law implications, such as mining, banking and transport and, in the past, the private security sector.

Of Hunters and Hunted (2): Falconry, bird smuggling and wildlife conservation

Fabrizio Foschini

The cold weather marks the start of the hunting season in many countries across the world. In Afghanistan, despite a hunting ban, this time of year sees the resumption of particular hunting-related activities. One particular group of hunters – raptor birds migrating through the country – become the hunted. Every year, some are caught and […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
The exclusive Sherpur neighbourhood in Kabul, built in 2003 after Kabul Chief of Police Abdul Bashir Salangi, on the orders of Minister of Defence Qasim Fahim, bulldozed the mud-built houses of poor residents: plots were subsequently distributed largely to their factional comrades from Shura-ye Nizar. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 2022

Land in Afghanistan: This time, retaking instead of grabbing land?

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) retook power, it started reclaiming state land that had been seized during previous administrations. In October 2022, the IEA established the Land-Grabbing Prevention and Restitution Commission, within the Ministry of Justice, whose purpose is to investigate land-grabbing under the Islamic Republic, restore any state land and prevent it […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Long Winding River: Unravelling the water dispute between Afghanistan and Iran

Mhd Assem Mayar Roxanna Shapour

Afghanistan and Iran have been at loggerheads for much of this year over the Helmand River and its water. As the region grappled with a punishing drought for the third year running, the two neighbouring countries have been locked in a tense melee over shared transboundary rivers. While Iran seeks to assert its rights over […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
A poppy farmer and labourer by the farmer's crop in Nad Ali district, Helmand Province in spring 2015. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2015.

Prosperity or Penury: The political and economic fallout of the opium ban in Afghanistan

Kate Clark Jelena Bjelica

Two new reports, one from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and another by David Mansfield and Alcis, show that Afghan farmers have largely complied with the Islamic Emirate’s ban on opium cultivation. They chart a swingeing cut in cultivation in 2023 – just 10,000 to 30,000 hectares of land sown with opium […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Nature’s Fury: The Herat earthquakes of 2023

Roxanna Shapour

The earth has continued to shudder in Herat province ever since the first of a series of deadly earthquakes hit the province on Saturday 7 October around 11am local time. They have destroyed entire villages and killed and injured thousands of people. Since then, dozens more tremors, including three powerful earthquakes have caused additional havoc […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Goods trucks cross from Afghanistan into Pakistan at Torkham. Photo: Shafiullah Kakar/AFP, 25 February 2023

Survival and Stagnation: The State of the Afghan economy

Kate Clark

This paper is an attempt to give an overview of the Afghan economy in light of two new World Bank reports, one on the economy, two years on from the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and a second on the welfare of households. The Emirate has not published budgets for this year […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Residents sit with a plate of eaten watermelon at a restaurant in Mirai bazaar in Andar district of Ghazni, after it was re-taken by the Taleban. Photo: Wakil Khosar/AFP, 3 June 2021

Finding Business Opportunity after Conflict: Shopkeepers, civil servants and farmers in Andar district

Sabawoon Samim

Andar district in Ghazni province was a battleground for most of the years of the Islamic Republic, from 2003 up until its fall in 2021. The conflict caused not only loss of life, but also severe damage and disruption to business. Andar’s economy is once again fully functional and, for the time being, it is […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Selling traditional Afghan clothes on Facebook

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

How to support your family when you have just lost your job during hard economic times? That was the question one journalist asked himself after his newspaper laid him off during the calamitous contraction of the economy in 2021 when the amount of international money coming into Afghanistan suddenly diminished. The journalist’s response surprised even […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Aid Diversion in Afghanistan: Is it time for a candid conversation?

Ashley Jackson

Diversion of aid in Afghanistan is in the news again, this time with allegations by the United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, that the Islamic Emirate or its officials are diverting humanitarian aid. Language in a draft US appropriations bill would prohibit any US assistance going “directly or indirectly” to […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Taleban Perceptions of Aid: Conspiracy, corruption and miscommunication

Sabawoon Samim Ashley Jackson

Despite publicly claiming to welcome international aid, the Taleban government has exercised a growing influence over humanitarian operations within Afghanistan at both national and local levels. This includes bans on women working for NGOs and the United Nations and, more recently, an order to hand over all internationally funded education projects to the Ministry of […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Women take to street peddling to feed their families

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

After the Taleban came to power in August 2021, the flow of international funds into the country that helped prop up the economy declined precipitously, and a significant number of people lost their jobs. Women, facing new legal restrictions on work from the Islamic Emirate, have been hit disproportionately hard by unemployment. With few options […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

No Food For Hope: Afghanistan’s Child Malnutrition Dilemma in 2023

Fabrizio Foschini Rohullah Sorush

The time of the summer harvest has come, bringing with it some temporary relief to millions of Afghan households struggling to feed themselves. Standards of living, which had already worsened well before the Taleban takeover of August 2021, plunged further with their capture of power and the resulting economic collapse. The impact was most keenly […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more