News - Afghanistan
Afghanistan's war and the fight against extremism cost the country a staggering $9 billion USD last year, said Equality for Peace and Democracy on Monday.
A report released by the organization this week states that the health sector and infrastructure development have been the hardest hit sectors in the country due to the increased cost of war.
EPD deputy chief Idris Omarzad said: "During the fiscal year of 2014 just over $9 billion USD was spent on war and (fighting) extremism."
For Afghanistan, without calculating macro-economic implications, the cost of one year of conflict and violent extremism was calculated at $9,091 billion USD, or approximately $24,906 million USD per day, read the report.
This figure is the equivalent of 44% of Afghanistan's GDP. It is approximately 113% of the total of Afghanistan's 2014 national budget, and amounts to roughly four times the Afghan government's revenue collection target for last year, the report stated.
This report was released in cooperation with the United States Institute of Peace, which says this tally, of $9 billion USD, is a shocking figure and has warned this amount is set to increase this year.
According to the US's Institute of Peace, Shah Mahmoud Miakhail: "As long as governance is not improved and rule of law is not implemented, it is very hard to put an end to war."
This study focused on a number of categories including security, health, compensation, human capacity building, education and infrastructure.
Omarzad meanwhile said infrastructural development, health and education sectors have been the worst hit by this cost – three sectors that are extremely vulnerable, he added.
Analysts and human rights activists meanwhile speculate that this year's cost of war will far exceed that of 2014.
Women's Rights Activist Najiba Ayobi said: "It is very clear that this year the cost of war and fundamentalism is too high because of ongoing conflict."
The findings of this study shows that 60 percent of the national budget is being spent on security and only four percent on the health sector.
According to the report, there is an extra budget allocated to the ministries of defense and interior affairs, the national security council and the National Directorate of Security (NDS),
Ministry of Defense gets an additional $1.5 billion USD over their annual budget; the Ministry of Interior gets almost $1.2 billion USD extra; National Security Council gets over $1.5 million USD and the NDS an additional $200 million.
In addition, civilians have also paid a really high price – since 2001, an estimated 26,272 people have been killed in the conflict.