A joint survey carried out by the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) and ICON International shows that almost 54 percent of the population in Afghanistan live below the poverty line.
The survey which is titled ‘The living conditions in Afghanistan’ indicates that more than 16 million people in Afghanistan, which constitutes half of the population, live like this.
The survey was carried out two years ago and the percentage of those living below the poverty line is now likely to be higher.
Based on the survey, the number of people who cannot afford their basic needs is around 15 percent while the unemployment rate is recorded at around 24 percent.
“According to calculations, if a person spends less than 2,064 in a month, then he lives below the poverty line, this is the national explanation,” said Haseebullah Mawahid, technical deputy head of CSO.
“Insecurity, political instability which has been reported during the elections, electoral aftershocks which also affected the balance of investments in Afghanistan are among key factors,” said Mustafa Mastoor, economy minister.
Access to internet services is 4 percent of the population, and access of 98 percent to electricity is part of the survey index.
But, officials from the World Bank (WB) and European Union (EU) have said that the rapid growth of the population and the violence in the country have contributed to the scale of poverty.
“There is hope, in terms of progress, which has been made in education, water and sanitation, and primary health care, but I think the overriding fact that more than half the population is still below the poverty line, should be a wake-up call for all of us,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan.
“More schools are being built, but even more students are emerging. Jobs are actually created, but even more people are in a search of income,” said Maurizio Cian, Head of Cooperation, the European Union Delegation to Afghanistan.
Although the survey has not pointed out the poverty rate for 2016, previously the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a report, predicted that Afghanistan’s economic growth had not gone well in 2017 due to insecurity and less investments.