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.

The Fourth Wave of Covid-19 Hits Afghanistan: “According to Sharia keeping yourself healthy is a must”

Rohullah Sorush Thomas Ruttig

Another wave of Covid-19 struck Afghanistan early in 2022 with doctors throughout the country reporting a rise in cases from January onwards. The devastation suffered by the Afghan health system since the suspension of most foreign aid following the Taleban takeover left it wholly unprepared to deal with the wave. While cases are now tailing […]

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opium 2022

The New Taleban’s Opium Ban: The same political strategy 20 years on?

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark

Seven and a half months after they took power in Afghanistan, the Taleban have officially banned opium. Observers had been waiting to see if they would implement their promise to ban narcotics made shortly after they captured Kabul. The ban has come at the beginning of the opium harvest and at a time when Afghans […]

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Crops not Watered, Fruit Rotting: Kandahar’s agriculture hit by war, drought and closed customs gates

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Farmers across Afghanistan have been hit hard by drought and fighting in recent years. In this report, we look at how this has affected agriculture in one province, Kandahar, famous for its fruit production. Much of the fruit crop is – or should be – exported, yet the frequent and unpredictable closure of crossings into […]

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Living in a Collapsed Economy (3): Surviving poverty, food insecurity and the harsh winter

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

In this third instalment of ‘Living in a Collapsed Economy,’ we returned to the people we interviewed at the beginning of winter to find out how they had managed since we last spoke to them, especially during the harsh winter months. For many of them, not much had changed, although their situation had slowly worsened […]

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A child makes bricks in a mould at a brick kiln in Kandahar. For the families in our study from Sar-e Pul, working in the brick kilns in Mazar-e Sharif was a last resort, but by 2016, 70 per cent of households were migrating there seasonally, with men, women and children working. Households could easily fall into debt-bondage. Photo: Javed Tanveer/AFP, November 2021

Living With Radical Uncertainty in Rural Afghanistan: The work of survival

Adam Pain

Yet again, Afghanistan is experiencing a moment of rupture, the latest in a long series of upheavals that have marked the lives of most Afghans over the age of 55. For those living in rural areas, unpredictability is created not only by regime change or violent conflict, but also drought, flooding and other natural disasters. […]

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Living in a Collapsed Economy (2): Even the people who still have money are struggling

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

In this second instalment of ‘Living in a Collapsed Economy,’ we seek to map what Afghanistan’s economic collapse means, at the household level, for the relatively fortunate – those who were wealthy to start with or had a diverse set of income streams, as well as those who still have a stable salary. We hear […]

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Realpolitik and the 2021 National Budget: The toxic struggle for money and power that undermined Afghanistan’s Republic

Roxanna Shapour

The 2021 new year did not get off to a promising start in Afghanistan. The conflict was raging, violence was at an all-time high for winter and the so-called peace talks were hobbling along in Doha. In what turned out to be the waning months of the Republic, lawmakers and government were deep in the […]

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Living in a Collapsed Economy (1): A cook, a labourer, a migrant worker, a small trader and a factory owner tell us what their lives look like now

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

In the summer of 2021 AAN started a new research project for ‘Living under the Taleban’ that looked into how life had changed in districts that were newly coming under Taleban control, one after the other, with dizzying speed. Then the Republic collapsed, mere days after we conducted our first interviews. When we picked up the […]

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Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg: Afghanistan’s economic distress post-15 August

Kate Clark

Even as the Taleban celebrated their unprecedented victory on 15 August 2021, Afghanistan was transformed. It was poorer, more isolated and extremely fragile, economically. Most aid stopped, sanctions came into effect against the Taleban government and foreign reserves were frozen. Economic disaster came on top of the worst drought in years and the ill-effects of […]

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Global Warming and Afghanistan: Drought, hunger and thirst expected to worsen

mohammad assem mayar

While the nations of the world come together at the COP26 to seek solutions to climate change, Afghanistan is already suffering from global warming. One of the worst droughts in recent years has caused rainfed wheat crops to fail, led to plummeting livestock prices and shortages in drinking water. 19 million people – nearly half […]

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What now for the Taleban and Narcotics? A case study on cannabis

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

It has been more than a year since the Taleban banned the cultivation of cannabis and the production and trafficking of cannabis resin, known as hashish, in areas of Afghanistan under their control. The Taleban put a great deal of effort into formulating the ban, consulting Islamic scholars and various of their commissions before issuing […]

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The Khalid Payenda Interview (2): Reforms, regrets and the final bid to save a collapsing Republic

Kate Clark Roxanna Shapour

In this second part of this interview, former Minister of Finance Khalid Payenda talks to AAN’s Kate Clark and Roxanna Shapour about the reaction of the Republic’s leadership to his plans to get the economy back on track and fight corruption and whether it was already too late to effect meaningful change. He gives a […]

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