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.

A volleyball in Mirai town during Eid in October 2012. Many people came to the district town that year after the 2012 uprising against the Taleban re-opened Andar district centre after three years. The peace was not to last: political interference and bloody violence were soon to follow. (Photo Fazal Muzhary)

One Land, Two Rules (7): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Andar district in Ghazni province

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Andar district in southern Ghazni province, which has had a shadow Taleban administration since 2007, has been under virtually complete Taleban control since October 2018. The Afghan government continues to provide education and health services despite the fact that all of Andar’s government offices have relocated to Ghazni city, while the Taleban supervise their work. […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
The main intersection in Shin Kalay village half an hour's drive east of Lashkargah Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2018.

One Land, Two Rules (6): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Nad Ali district of Helmand province

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

In opium-rich Nad Ali district, public service provision is poor. The district is roughly divided between the government and the Taleban and they continue to clash over control of population, territory and roads. Although only the government and NGOs fund public services, the Taleban exert considerable control over what is delivered in their areas, determining […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Afghanistan’s Anti-Corruption Institutions: Too many, and with too few results

Jelena Bjelica

Corruption in the Afghan state has blossomed and bloomed in the years since 2001. A report published by UNAMA today on Afghanistan’s fight against corruption highlights how the frequent changes in corruption-related legislation and a mushrooming of anti-graft institutions have done little to stop it; recent reductions in petty corruption – as shown by the […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

One Land, Two Rules (5): The polio vaccination gap

Jelena Bjelica

While researching the delivery of health, education and other services in districts affected by the insurgency, we found that three of our featured districts, in Helmand, Nangrahar and Kunduz provinces, had seen cases of polio leading to paralysis in the last five years. There is no cure for polio, but there is an effective vaccination, […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Sudais is in his father, Baktullah's, fruit and vegetable store in Shadal Bazaar village of Achin district. Life is slowly returning to normal after government and US forces pushed ISKP out of most of the district in 2017 and 2018. Public services – education, healthcare and electricity supply – are still patchy, barely-functioning or non-existent. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2017

One Land, Two Rules (4): Delivering public services in embattled Achin district in Nangrahar province

Rohullah Sorush S Reza Kazemi

Achin district in the south of Afghanistan’s key eastern province of Nangrahar has been heavily fought over by the Taleban, ISKP and government and United States forces. The delivery of public services has been hampered, helped or abolished depending on who has been in charge at any given time; ISKP banned almost all public services […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

One Land, Two Rules (3): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province

Obaid Ali

Dasht-e Archi, a district in the northeastern corner of Kunduz province is almost entirely controlled by the Taleban. They have established shadow sub-national governance structures in the district, while most local government officials are absent and work remotely from the provincial capital. Although the Taleban do not provide any services themselves, they have co-opted government […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

One Land, Two Rules (2): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Obeh district of Herat province

S Reza Kazemi

The matter of who governs the district of Obeh in the east of Herat province is complicated: control of the district is divided between the Afghan government and the Taleban, and shifts in unpredictable ways. The inhabitants of the district, usually via the mediation of elders, have had to learn how to deal with both […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

One Land, Two Rules (1): Service delivery in insurgent-affected areas, an introduction

Kate Clark Jelena Bjelica

The Taleban today control or influence whole swathes of Afghanistan. Estimates of exactly how much vary, but in the vast majority of Afghanistan’s provinces, control is split between government and insurgency. What that means for local people in terms of services usually provided by a state is the subject of a new research project by […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
The United States and its international allies have pursued various counter-narcotics approaches, centred mainly on eradication and interdiction, since 2001. Here a picture of government-led eradication in Helmand's provincial capital, Lashkar Gah in 2015. The Afghan government’s erdication efforts have been negligible since 2014. Only 3,760 of 183,000 hectares planted with opium poppy have been eradicated in 2015. Credit: Andrew Quilty, 2015.

A Drop from Peak Opium Cultivation: The 2018 Afghanistan survey

Jelena Bjelica

The Afghanistan Opium Survey 2018 released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows decrease of a fifth in the countrywide cultivation of opium compared to the previous years. The 263,000 hectares under the cultivation in Afghanistan this year was still the second largest score for Afghanistan since the UNODC began […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Well-diggers in the process of digging a deep well of 100 metres in Taimani neighbourhood of Kabul city. Photos: Author, 2018.

Blue Gold: The quest for household water in Kabul city

S Reza Kazemi

Given growing water scarcity and pollution, increasing numbers of residents in Kabul city are struggling to provide enough safe water for their households. Many are forced to turn to the expanding private water business for their needs: eitherby paying for water from mobile water tankers, subscribing to local private water supply companies or buying bottled […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Less Rain and Snowfall in Afghanistan: High level of food assistance needed until early 2019

Jelena Bjelica

The Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) has reported that in 22 of Afghanistan’s provinces, cumulative rain and snowfall during the ‘wet season’ – October 2017 to May 2018 – was 30 to 60 per cent below average. The northwest of the country has been particularly hard hit. AAN’s Jelena Bjelica (with input from Obaid Ali […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
The new counter-narcotics law stipulates that the confiscated drugs can either be converted to medicine or sold to one of the countries that has INCB licence. But, Afghanistan may face many obstacles in implementation of this provision, including a low seizure levels. Photo: Andrew Quilty; Helmand province, 2015.

How to Fight the Booming Opiate Economy? Harsher and progressive laws, but to no avail

Jelena Bjelica

The opiate economy, as measured by the farm-gate value of opium, together with revenues from heroin production and trafficking of opiates to the Afghan borders, has become a crucial component of the Afghan economy, a recently released UNODC socio-economic survey found. This has evolved after years of increasing opium cultivation in the country. But, what […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more