Afghanistan is an extremely poor, landlocked country, highly dependent on farming and livestock raising (sheep and goats). Economic considerations have played second fiddle to political and military upheavals during more than 18 years of war, including the nearly 10-year Soviet military occupation (which ended 15 February 1989). During the war one-third of the population fled the country, with Pakistan and Iran sheltering a combined peak of more than 6 million refugees. Now, only 750,000 registered Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan and about 1.2 million in Iran. Another 1 million have probably moved into and around urban areas within Afghanistan. Gross domestic product has fallen substantially over the past 18 years because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport. Much of the population continues to suffer from insufficient food, clothing, housing, and medical care. Inflation remains a serious problem throughout the country, with one estimate putting the rate at 240% in Kabul in 1996.
Currency: 1 afghani (AF) = 100 puls
Exchange rates: afghanis (Af) per US$1-17,000 (1996), 7,000 (1995), 1,900 (1994), 1,019 (1993) and 850 (1991)
A small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, and cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, oil, coal, copper.
Total value: $80 million (1996 est.)
commodities: fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
partners: FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, India, UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czechoslovakia
Total value: $150 million (1996 est.)
commodities: food and petroleum products; most consumer goods
partners: FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, Singapore, India, South Korea, Germany
Electricity-capacity: 494,000 kW (1995)
Electricity---production: 655 million kWh (1995)
Electricity---consumption per capita: 37 kWh (1995)
Agriculture---products: wheat, fruits, nuts, karakul pelts; wool, mutton