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Sida's work in Afghanistan

Over recent years, Afghanistan has been deeply affected by political unrest and armed conflict. The Taliban movement took control of the country during the summer of 2021. Sida closely monitors developments in Afghanistan while analysing how the projects we support are affected, in collaboration with other international donors.

Sida’s support to Afghanistan 2020

Total development assistance 1039899000 SEK, Development cooperation 814537000 SEK, Humanitarian assistance 225361000 SEK.

Progress has been made

More children attend school

Since 2001, the number of children attending school has increased from 0,8 million to more than 9 million. Among girls, the percentage has increased from zero to 39 percent.1

Declining maternal and child mortality

In the last two decades, child mortality has fallen sharply. In 2019, newborns were expected to live eight years longer than in 2001.2 Maternal mortality has decreased significantly as well.3

Relatively free elections

Given the country’s current circumstances, relatively free and democratic parliamentary and presidential elections have been held

Challenges remain


million Afghan children do not attend school, according to UNICEF, out of which 60 percent are girls. There is a severe shortage of female teachers, especially in rural areas.

Gender inequality permeates society

While many steps for equality has been taken in the last years, Afghanistan is still characterized by inequality and ranked 169th out of 189 countries in the UN’s Gender Inequality Index.4

Corruption is high

Afghanistan is one of the 15 most corrupt countries in the world. Corruption has declined but still constitutes a serious problem.5

Development cooperation with Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been plagued by conflicts for over 40 years.

The Afghan economy is highly dependent on foreign aid. After the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, a good deal of progress was made. In 2015, the security situation deteriorated and the Taliban gradually took control of the country. During the spring of 2021, foreign troops gradually left Afghanistan and in the summer the government fell into the hands of the Taliban. This is expected to lead to increased poverty and that progress made is being lost.

Sida closely monitors developments in Afghanistan while analysing how the projects we support are affected by the Taliban’s control over the country.

Updated: 15 November 2021