Situation in the Country


Capital: Kabul Area: 647,500 km ² (more than twice compared with Italy). 
Population: 29.120.000 million inhabitants.
Ethnic groups: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4% Religion: Sunni 80%, Shiite 19%, other 1% 
Infant mortality rate: 151.5 per thousand (second worst country after Angola, Italy 5,7). 
Life expectancy: 44.65 years Average: 44.45 Males 44.87 Females (Italy 76 M 82 F) 
Literacy: 28.1% (Italy 98%) 
Poverty line: 36%

Afghanistan is a state in Central Asia of about 30,000,000 inhabitants, bordering Iran, Pakistan and China. The country has lived for decades in a state of political instability that is not yet ended. The Soviet occupation of 1979, which ended ten years later, led the country to a long civil war that caused, in the nineties, the seizure of power by the Islamic extremist faction of the Taliban. After the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001, the United States, supported by the UN, have invaded the state, kicking off Operation Enduring Freedom (Enduring Freedom). The country is still under the occupation of armed contingents of NATO and ravaged by war between the Taliban, which have not yet been defeated and Western troops.The mission "Enduring Freedom" aimed to topple the Taliban regime, suspected of complicity with al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.

The mission, which began October 7, 2001, ended with an apparent success just a month later of U.S. troops coming victorious in Kabul. Under the supervision of the U.S., it took up the new interim government, led by Hamid Karzai, who is still President of the State.

The Taliban forces, initially in disarray, have gradually reorganized and waged a guerrilla war against the occupying forces. It is estimated that the Taliban have now the control of nearly 80% of the country. President Obama has recently defined a partial 'exit strategy' which provides for the gradual withdrawal of military forces to be completed by 2014, leaving from that date forward to the Afghan army the task to fight the Taliban. It’s still provided the maintenance of U.S. military bases in the country as support and training to local armed forces.

The war has thrown the State in dramatic conditions. The only element driving the economy remains the cultivation of opium, from which it is created the vast majority of drugs doomed to Western markets. The country retains only in the capital, Kabul, a semblance of law and order while the rest of the territory remains under control, more or less legally recognized, of tribal leaders and the Taliban. Of particular concern are the status of women and the child. During the Taliban regime, a series of fundamental rights had been denied to women, preventing their participation in the social, economic, cultural and political life of the country. The situation today is only slightly improved, it remains deeply limited the right to education, the right to work, the right of movement, the right to health (no woman can be examined by a male doctor), the right to resort to law. Even today, the use of the burqa, although not mandatory, is widespread. The situation of children is even worse. A recent UN report pointed the finger against the violation of the rights of children, perpetrated for years in Afghan territory, not only in the territories occupied by the Taliban but also where are in force the laws of the Karzai government. The infant mortality rate is lower only compared to those of Angola, with the little victims decimated by war, poverty and disease. Among these should be reported leishmaniasis, an infectious disease caused by protozoan organisms transmitted to humans by sand fly.





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