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AFGHANISTAN Geography Afghanistan, the land of Afghans as the name suggests, is a mountainous land surrounded by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north and by China on the extreme northeast, on the east and south by Pakistan, and towards west by Iran. The country is split across from East to the west by the Hindu Kush mountain range, rising in the east at the height of 24,000 ft. (7,315 m). The south-western part of the country is covered by high snow-capped mountains and is bridged by deep valleys. The Largest City is Kabul and the other larger cities are Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Charikar and Heart.
30,419,928 (July 2012 est.)
0-14 years: 42.3% (male 6,464,070/female 6,149,468)
15-64 years: 55.3% (male 8,460,486/female 8,031,968)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 349,349/female 380,051) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form: Afghanestan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve rapidly; 55% of Afghans have access to mobile-cellular telephone service, and 85% live in areas covered by one of Afghanistan’s four largest mobile-cellular telephone service providers
international: country code – 93; multiple VSAT’s provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2009)
total: 42,150 km
paved: 12,350 km
unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)
Military manpower – military age
Afghanistan’s economy is recovering from decades of conflict. The economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector, and service sector growth. Despite the progress of the past few years, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, weak governance, and the Afghan Government’s difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan’s living standards are among the lowest in the world. While the international community remains committed to Afghanistan’s development, pledging over $67 billion at nine donors’ conferences between 2003-10, the Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, and high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.
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