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 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 […]

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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 […]

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Taleban Bans on Drugs: What is the Emirate’s counter-narcotics agenda?

Jelena Bjelica Fabrizio Foschini

Since they captured power in summer 2021, the Taleban have issued two strict bans on drugs. In April 2022, they banned the cultivation and production of opium and the use, trade and transport of all illegal narcotics. A year later, in March 2023, they issued another ban, specifically on the cultivation of cannabis and the […]

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The Daily Hustle: Being a widow in Afghanistan

Roxanna Shapour

The word most often used by Afghans to refer to widows is bisarparast (without someone to take care of you). In Afghanistan’s highly patriarchal society, where men are expected to be the breadwinners and opportunities for women to work are relatively few, being a widow is likely to be socially and economically precarious. They are often stigmatised, […]

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What Do the Taleban Spend Afghanistan’s Money On? Government expenditure under the Islamic Emirate (Amended)

Kate Clark Roxanna Shapour

When our readers told us about some errors in our report: ‘What Do The Taleban Spend Afghanistan’s Money On? Government expenditure under the Islamic Emirate,” we started checking and cross-checking our sources and the report. We found that several budget lines in the operational budget for the security sector in the 1400 (2021) Q4 mini-budget […]

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Bans on Women Working, Then and Now: The dilemmas of delivering humanitarian aid during the first and second Islamic Emirates

Kate Clark

Anyone who lived in Afghanistan during the first Islamic Emirate will find the current stand-off between the Taleban and NGOs – and now the United Nations – over the issue of women working familiar. There is the same clashing of principles: the Emirate’s position that women must largely be kept inside the home to avoid […]

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What Do The Taleban Spend Afghanistan’s Money On? Government expenditure under the Islamic Emirate

Kate Clark Roxanna Shapour

When the Taleban captured power in 2021, they moved swiftly to take over domestic revenue collection, adopting Ministry of Finance systems for taxes and customs. As insurgents, they had been diligent tax collectors and brought a wealth of experience in collecting money from people, but little in spending it – outside the war effort. Since […]

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The Daily Hustle: How to survive a winter in Kabul

Roxanna Shapour

Winters in Kabul are always difficult, and this year was no exception – with temperatures dropping well below zero and heavy snowfall. The snow turns the unpaved secondary roads where most Kabulis live into rivers of mud, making it difficult for people to get around. But if there’s little snow – increasingly the case because […]

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A wedding hall in Kabul, August 2022. The age of first marriage had been rising in Afghanistan. However, increasing numbers of child marriages, driven by economic distress, are being reported. Photo: Daniel Leal/AFP.

Living in a Collapsed Economy (4): The desperation and guilt of giving a young daughter in marriage 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

The collapse of the economy has led families across Afghanistan to make desperate decisions, including giving young daughters in marriage in exchange for a bride price. AAN interviewed four fathers who spoke about the pressures of debt and the emotional turmoil and guilt that surrounded the decision.

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A girl harvests cotton in Dawlatabad District, Balkh province. The Taleban have rolled out new taxes on agricultural production. This represents a massive transfer of resources from the rural economy to the state, money which till now the Emirate has not accounted for. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 28 October 2021.

New AAN Special Report: “Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state”

Kate Clark AAN Team

On 15 August 2021, much in Afghanistan was overturned or radically altered. The insurgents became the rulers and the old elites fled. Afghanistan’s relationship with the rest of the world ruptured and the country became poorer overnight. It also went from being a state where the administration was reliant on foreign donors and military support […]

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The Climate Change Crisis in Afghanistan: The catastrophe worsens – what hope for action?

Mhd Assem Mayar

The earth has only one atmosphere, and the effects of climate change transcend political boundaries. Afghanistan is one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases, but among the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. The harm is already evident in the increased frequency of droughts, which are causing hunger and distress, and unfortunately, […]

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Food Aid in a Collapsed Economy: Relief, tensions and allegations

Martine van Bijlert AAN Team

A major focus of the international humanitarian response to Afghanistan’s economic collapse has been a ramped-up distribution of food aid, as large parts of the population no longer have the income to buy enough food for their families. In this fourth instalment of our economic research based on interviews conducted across Afghanistan, we look at […]

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