Re: Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM saysMar 5th, 2009
AFGHANISTAN IN NUMBERS
- The population of Afghanistan is nearly 30 million. Ninety percent of the population is Sunni, and 10 percent Shiite.
- In Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest nations, 70-75 percent of the population is illiterate. Seventy percent of the people live in rural areas.
- Forty-one percent of the people are destitute. Five million depend on charity for their basic nutritional needs.
- Unemployment in the country is at a rate of 40 percent; 82 percent of the employed make a living from agriculture, while 6 percent work in industry.
- The standing NATO international forces in the country number 65,000. The US has 37,000 soldiers in Afghanistan and is planning to double this number.
- Civilian deaths have doubled since 2006. According to the UN, 2,100 civilians were killed in the country, with NATO forces responsible for 40 percent of these deaths.
- Afghan security forces number 160,000, but only 30 percent of the army and 3 percent of the police are classed as "good" or "very good."
- In the first five years after 2001, the US lost an average of 50 soldiers a year, while this number increased to 100 in 2006, 120 in 2007 and 155 in 2008. The number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 has surpassed 1,000. At least 600 of these were Americans.
- The US has spent $33.37 billion on rebuilding the country.
- Six-hundred and eighty schools have been constructed, and following the Taliban's fall from power 4.2 million students returned to school. Of the nearly 6 million students, 35 percent are females.
- While 670 health clinics were built, 10,000 health professionals were trained. Seventy percent of children are vaccinated, but in the nation where the life expectancy is an average 45 years, one of every five children dies before reaching the age of 5.
- The nation's economy has grown by 10 percent annually since the fall of the Taliban. The gross domestic product (GDP) has doubled, but the GDP is only $11 billion.
- Of the 34 provinces, 18 no longer produce opium, but Afghanistan still provides 93 percent of the world's opium. Fifteen percent of the public are involved in the opium trade.
- Since 2001, over 4 million refugees have returned home to Afghanistan, but in Pakistan and Iran another 2.8 million refugees have yet to return home.