2005-03-29

 

Daily living in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. However Afghanistan has made remarkable progress since the fall of the Taliban. But we still have a very weak economy. Although Afghanistan's economy has improved over the last three years, the government has not been able to to carry out a proper assessment. Education, health care, the lack of jobs, homes, power and drinking water are the main problems that Afghanistan is facing today. Wages are extremely low. Civil servants, teachers and even doctors are lucky to get between $40 and $100 per month. The government officals only make $40 a month. Former officers, except ANA officers, only make $100 a month - even the colonels.

Food is very expensive for the people. Beside some rich people, most people eat meat once per week. Milk, bread, sugar, and cooking oil prices are very high for people, especially for the civil servants. A government worker makes 2000 afghani a month and one kilo of sheep meat is 200 afghani while one kilo of cow's meat costs 140 Afghani. A liter of diesel fuel costs 26 Afghani and a liter of petrol fuel costs between 24 and 27 afghani. Most people buy second hand clothes because the price of new clothes and shoes is very expensive. A teacher can not buy a coat for 1500 afghani because a teacher (e.g. a high school teacher) makes only 3000 afghani a month. The US dollar price in afghani is one $US dollar equals to 48 afghani. The price keeps changing every day - sometime s one US dollar equals 50 afghani.

So it is impossible for most people to buy meat every day, or even 3 times a week, because the salary of a government worker is equal to the price of 10 kilos of meat. Only those people who work for foreign organizations make much more than the government officials. Food price is not the only problem in Afghanistan - the taxi rents are very high too. Although there are many public busses, they are not enough to solve the people's problems because the population of Kabul city is over 3 million people, and since the fall of the Taliban almost two million people have returned to Kabul. Some refugees who are homeless live under tents. Almost 50% of people are homeless in Kabul and they ask the government to build shelters for them. Many people sold their houses during the 1992 war and during the Taliban regime and they spent their money while they were in Pakistan and Iran during that time. They sold their houses for really cheap prices because the situation was really bad and now their houses are 10 times more than the price they sold them at, so the people hope that the new government will issue some land to homeless people, but its unclear when that will happen.

Comments:
One thing the last 25 years of Afghanistan's history have shown is that the Afghani people - all the cultural groups - are among the strongest people in the world. I can only hope that life will improve to support this strength.
 
Thanks for the information. These are the kind of things we need to learn about. It gives you a new insight into why things are the way they are. Also makes you want to help more.
 
Thanks for the updates and info
 
Speaking for myself, but I know there are others, I am most anxious to start buying Afghani goods which in some small way will help the economy. I have an old friend who is a senior attache at the State Dept. in Kabul; he has offered to buy things like rugs for us and bring them back when he comes.

However I am wondering if it is yet possible for some entrepeneur to set up a website to begin trade? I'm sure that currency exchange and shipping might be a problem...but could be overcome.
 
There is such a website pancho - Worldstock.com, a division of Overstock.com, is the biggest (legal) private employer in Afghanistan and sells handcrafted goods. Check out their website at:
http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?PAGE=STORELIST&STO_ID=6
 
Hopefuly Waheed will post the Link here, but to read an Interview about Waheed:

The In T View: Waheed, Afghan Warrior For Democracy
 
the wages/costs you describe -- do those apply to a fairly small portion of the population or is that closer to average? are the proportions generally better or worse in the city vs/ thr country?
 
My friend is visiting Afghanistan soon to see his family. I want to send some gifts with him, what can I send? He has brothers, sisters, neices and nephews and of course his elderly mother. I have no idea of appropriete, usful gifts..please help. Thanks...Pol
 
the people in afghanistan don't just need money they need LOVE. we need to show them christs love for us when he died on the cross for us.

they need to see it lived out.
a bunch of christians (my family in christ)are going to afghanistan sometime when ever GOD want us to go, and we are going to make a goat cheese farm up there.

the goat farm is just a excuse to go to afghanistan and preach the word of GOD like william and catherine booth. and allt hose ether people who are living what GOD has told us to do.

so this is to encourage you to go out and live like christ and show the LOVE he showed to you.

love your neighbor as yourself (what i mean as in neighbor is everyone you come in contact with not just the guy liveing in the house next to you.)

do what he has commanded of you.:P
 
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