Afghanistan in numbers

To help you understand how life has changed in Afghanistan over the past twenty years, take a look at this article from the BBC.

The article is quite long - so it might be best to focus on one section at a time. It is ordered into these sections.

  • Taliban regain control
  • How many people have died since 2001?
  • How many have fled the fighting?
  • Many girls attending school
  • More opportunities for women
  • How else has life changed?
  • Many still live in poverty

Challenge: Tell us about one number/statistic that you find interesting and explain why it is interesting to you.

Extra challenge: Based on what you have learnt so far, do you think this number will be affected by the Taliban government?


"The number I find most interesting is... because...

I think this number will/will not be affected by the Taliban government because..."

Comments (29)

  • British Council.jpg quirky_sheep | Faujdarhat Cadet College | Bangladesh
    04 Nov 2021

    Well, in my lens, the number I found most interesting is, "The number of Girls attending school".

    According to BBC, "Back in 1999, there was not a single girl enrolled in a secondary school and only 9,000 were at primary schools.
    But by 2003, 2.4 million girls were in school. That figure is now around 3.5 million, and around a third of students at public and private universities are women."

    Well this clearly is a massive change with rapid progress. In just 4 years, the number of girls in schools hugely multiplied. And 20 years of Taliban-USA war resulted in the fall of Taliban regime which created new windows and opportunities for substantial reform and advancement in terms of women's rights and education. This surely is a the biggest success story in Afghanistan. Now, 39% of it's students are female. And this progress is what amazes me.

    But as far as I am concerned, the Taliban did not allow girls go to school under their regime from 1996 to 2001. And now, after the return of Taliban governance, this success story of Afghanistan is at a grave risk.

    According to an audio tape recently shared among WhatsApp groups of Afghan faculty members, Taliban authorities in Herat province have ordered state and private higher education institutions to stop allowing girls to sit in the same courses as boys.

    Not only that, by instructing high schools to reopen only for boys, the Taliban effectively prohibited girls from secondary education in Afghanistan. But despite that, the Afghan leaders talk about ensuring and supporting women education now. But such excuses are a matter of worrying to everyone. More than 3.5 million afghan girls now have a doubtful future.

    Well, Many women and girls were denied access to schools and education under the previous Afghan administration due to war and instability. In contrast, it is now the Taliban leaders' attitude toward female education that will have a significant impact on female student enrollment and achievement. But if the Talibans return to their previous views and rules, the education system of Afghanistan will surely crumble and the future of the country will be at stake!

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      quirky_sheep's comment 04 Nov 2021

      It's great to research, but please make sure you don't copy from other websites. Instead, summarise your findings in your own words and then give your opinion about what you have found.

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg active_fact | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    04 Nov 2021

    Let the language of numbers be the language of communicating the truth. It has a strong indication of the proportions, sermons, and real arguments that alert the world to the danger that threatens Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan is preparing; It was launched on October 7, 2001, weeks after the "9/11 attacks", the longest in which the United States has been involved. Here are some numbers related to this dispute:
    > The US military presence reached its peak in 2011 under former President Barack Obama; With 98,000 soldiers on the ground; According to Pentagon figures.
    > A coalition of 38 member states of "NATO" intervened in the Afghan conflict during December (December 2001), but the United States participated in the largest number of soldiers.
    > In February 2020, when the United States signed the historic agreement with the Taliban, which stipulated its complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Pentagon estimated the number of American soldiers still in the country at about 14,000.
    > On May 1, 2021; The main deadline for withdrawal, which was pushed back to next September 11 by a decision of President Joe Biden, there were still 9,500 foreign soldiers in Afghanistan; Among them are 2,500 Americans.
    > About 38,000 civilians were killed and more than 70,000 people were injured between 2009 and 2020; According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country. The deadliest year was 2018.
    > In the past three years, more than 395,000 Afghans have been displaced by the conflict; According to the Ministry of Refugees.
    > The United States paid a heavy price in the war, with more than 2,400 soldiers killed and 20,700 wounded. Among other NATO member states, Britain recorded the heaviest losses after the United States, with 455 soldiers killed; According to the specialized website "iCasualties".
    > The Afghan government no longer publishes figures on military casualties, but President Ashraf Ghani announced in 2019 that more than 45,000 members of the Afghan security forces had been killed since he came to power in 2014.
    > On September 30, 2019, the Pentagon estimated that the cost of US military operations in Afghanistan has amounted to $776 billion since 2001. Of this amount, 197.3 billion were earmarked for the reconstruction of Afghanistan and its institutions.
    > According to a study conducted by "Brown University"; The actual cost far exceeds the Pentagon's estimate; Because the State Department's assistance does not count, nor does the cost of intelligence operations, or that earmarked for the care of veterans.
    > Taking into account all these costs; Brown University researchers conclude that the "war on terror" in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan has cost $6,400 billion since 2001.
    > When it was in power, the Taliban banned girls from learning and stoned to death women accused of crimes such as adultery.
    The Afghan Ministry of Education says 9.7 million children are still enrolled in school today; 42 percent of them are girls. There are currently 18,000 open schools in the country, compared to 3,000 two decades ago.
    > The Afghan parliament includes 68 women; Among them, 30 percent are in the House of Representatives. Since the fall of the Taliban regime, women have begun to hold high positions in politics and government, such as senators, ministers or governors.
    > between 2003 and 2018; The infant mortality rate has fallen from 53 to 23 per 1,000 live births, according to the World Bank. Let the numbers be realistic

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  • British Council.jpg affable_opinion | Pabna Cadet College | Bangladesh
    05 Nov 2021

    At barely shy of 20 years, the now-finishing U.S. battle mission in Afghanistan was America's longest conflict. Conventional Americans would in general forget about it, and it got quantifiably less oversight from Congress than the Vietnam War. Yet, its loss of life is in the a huge number. Furthermore, on the grounds that the U.S. acquired the majority of the cash to pay for it, ages of Americans will be troubled by the expense of taking care of it.

    Here is a gander at the U.S.- drove battle in Afghanistan, by the numbers, as the Taliban in a lightning hostile assume control over a large part of the country before the United States' Aug. 31 cutoff time for finishing its battle job and as the U.S. speeds up American and Afghan departures.

    Percentage of U.S. population born since the 2001 attacks plotted by al-Qaida leaders who were sheltering in Afghanistan: Roughly one out of every four.

    American help individuals killed in Afghanistan through April: 2,448.
    U.S. project workers: 3,846.
    Afghan public military and police: 66,000.
    Other unified assistance individuals, including from other NATO part states: 1,144.
    Afghan regular folks: 47,245.
    Taliban and other resistance warriors: 51,191.
    Help laborers: 444.
    Columnists: 72.

    Date Congress approved U.S. powers to follow guilty parties in Sept. 11, 2001, assaults: Sept. 18, 2001.
    Number of times U.S. officials have casted a ballot to announce battle in Afghanistan: 0.

    At this basic point, COVID-19 represents a significant danger to individuals of Afghanistan with regards to political insecurity, helpful emergencies and a delicate wellbeing framework. This makes an intricate direction for supporting a country actually recuperating from the results of forty years of battle before the pandemic.

    Additionally, focusing on medical services laborers combined with burnout and emotional well-being concerns makes it hard to defeat this general wellbeing emergency. To this end, Afghanistan needs significant global help to control COVID-19.

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      affable_opinion's comment 05 Nov 2021

      Thank you affable_opinion. Don't forget, it's very important that you share where you found this information so that people can decide how reliable it is.

      Reply to this comment
      1. British Council.jpg affable_opinion | Pabna Cadet College | Bangladesh
        Katie @ Topical Talk's comment 05 Nov 2021

        Thanks for your concern, I assure you that from next time onwards I will shre the source.

        Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg bright_conversation | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    05 Nov 2021

    The war in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001, after the terrorist attacks, is the longest war the United States has ever fought. Under President Barack Obama in 2011, the Pentagon said there were 98,000 soldiers in the United States. When Washington signed an agreement in February 2020 promising to withdraw the Taliban and his troops, the Pentagon estimated that about 14,000 people remained in the country.
    By May 1, 2021, the initial withdrawal deadline set by the new President Joe Biden on the 11th.
    Loss: Between 2009 and the end of 2020, just over 38,000 civilians were killed. It began in 2009 with a systematic record of civilian victims. The worst year was 2018. More than 70,000 people have been injured in the last three years, more than 395,800 Afghans have been evacuated, and refugees and the Ministry of Repatriation have said more than 20,700 have been injured. Like other NATO coalition members, Britain lost the second largest number of people and killed 455 people, according to, which monitors the dead and injured in conflicts like Afghanistan. The Afghan government no longer publishes data on serious casualties in the military, but President Ashraf Ghani said in 2019, more than 45,000 of the country's security forces since he became a leader in 2014. Said a member of the group was killed.
    How much did the war cost? As of September 30, 2019, the Pentagon has officially estimated the US operating cost in Afghanistan since 2001 to be $ 767 billion. Of this amount, US $ 197.3 billion was used to rebuild the war-torn country and its systems. However, according to a Brown University study, the cost of the U.S. war has exceeded the Pentagon's estimate since 2001, as it has not considered State Department assistance, intelligence, or medical costs for injured veterans Syria and Afghanistan. increase.
    Progress: Before being expelled in 2001, the Taliban banned girls from studying and stoned women charged with crimes such as adultery. Currently, there are 18,000 active schools nationwide, up from 3,000 20 years ago. The Afghan Parliament has 68 female members, accounting for about 30 percent of the House of Representatives. For the past two decades, women have also held high political and governmental positions such as senators, ministers and governors. Between 2003 and 2018, infant mortality rates fell from 53 to 23 per 1,000 live births, according to the World Bank.

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      bright_conversation's comment 05 Nov 2021

      Thanks bright_conversation! It's great that you are contributing so much to the discussion, however please remember to share where you found your information.

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg playful_dragonfruit | Beit Hanoun Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    05 Nov 2021

    “The number I find interesting is more job opportunities for women because teacher and human rights activist Pashtana Durrani says the Taliban’s rhetoric about women’s rights and their actions in reality have nothing in common.

    She told the BBC that she was asking the group to clarify what women's rights were acceptable to her. In the past, the Taliban forced women to wear the burqa and banned girls over the age of 10 from attending school.

    Durrani said she had to speak up despite fears for her life. "I have to fight today, so that the next generation doesn't have to face all this struggle."

    "The Taliban leadership is very vague about women's rights, but their soldiers have been behaving as we expected in the past few days," she says.

    “Girls in Herat could not go to their universities, as for the girls of Kandahar, they were asked to go back to their homes and their male relatives were asked to fill their jobs in the bank.”

    "The Taliban seeks legitimacy in other countries in order to be accepted as a legitimate government, but at the same time, what are its elements doing on the ground?" Either they do not control their soldiers or they really want legitimacy but are not willing to do what is required of them, and these are two different things.” If the Taliban exclude women and people of other nationalities, they say there will be another cycle of violence.

    "There will be war, if we don't fight we won't survive. I will be one of them, it doesn't matter if I lose my life, but I have to be brave, I can't escape from Afghanistan, that's the only option."

    Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg healthy_antelope | Beit Hanoun Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    06 Nov 2021

    The figure that I find interesting is that more than 30% of the population is facing emergency or crisis levels of food insecurity, because it exemplifies the victims of war and this is just a figure that exemplifies the current situation,What about the future? Of course, there will be more victims and food insecurity on a large level because there is also a confrontation with climate change and threatening agriculture, which is one of the main sources of food , if wars increase and the use of military weapons that will be affected is the environment and agriculture, where the air will be polluted and thus the ocean will collect more carbon emissions, but as we know the ocean will not be able to bear our burden for a long time , Then the people or the government will use this water to irrigate crops, and then the water level in the ocean will decrease, and we should not forget that the soil will be polluted as a result of throwing military remnants,Thus, desertification and drought will increase, agricultural activities will decrease, the economy will decrease, and the hungry and food insecurity will increase

    I think that this number will be affected by the Taliban government, because it will increase their killing and their use of war tools, and thus they will increase the risk of food for the people, And also, the blockade will increase, and thus the people will not be able to export or recover, and thus the percentage of products in the market will decrease, and this will cause an increase in the price of the products,And this will be a trump card for the Taliban government, as it will start exerting the people to bring them products and start cutting off the water and materials needed for agriculture until the pressure increases on the people and the people submit to them , and this will increase their theft of the people and the killings as a result of exploitation

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      healthy_antelope's comment 08 Nov 2021

      Well done for reading the article carefully and giving your opinion, healthy_antelope.

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg free_planet | Jabalia Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    06 Nov 2021

    The language if numbers is similar to sign language it is a language to communicate the truth about the danger that threatens Afghanistan "the number that l find interesting is" How many people have died since 2001 because the question l have is who is more killing the police or civilians and as we know that the conflict started in 2001 unitl 2021 l Withdrew . Foreign forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban's seizure of power
    The United states invaded Afghanistan on October 2001 to overthrow the Taliban ,and a Brown University report confirmed that a bout 640,000 people from the Afghan army and police forces had been killed in combat since 2001 , While the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan revealed It Killed a bout 111,000 civilians , and it was reported that the number of people How killed more than the police , but the strange thing is that the number of civilian deaths is greater than wars of other countries the question now ? How many people will be killed in the 2021 war and the losses that will occur on Afghanistan??

    Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg content_river | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    07 Nov 2021

    Wars have a great impact in Afghanistan, as they directly harm many people, and this leads to the separation of families and the death of many people. The death toll in the ranks of the army exceeded to 64,000 soldiers, and this caused great damage to the army's forces Likewise, approximately $100 billion was spent in Afghanistan annually, and most of the expenditures came from the United States. During 2010 and 2012, the largest military presence was witnessed, as the number of American forces exceeded  100,000 pounds.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      content_river's comment 08 Nov 2021

      Can you tell us which number surprised you the most, content_river?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg entrepreneurial_guitar | Mirzapur Cadet College | Bangladesh
    08 Nov 2021

    The figure that I find fascinating is that over 30% of the populace is confronting crisis or emergency levels of food frailty, since it represents the survivors of war and this is only a figure that epitomizes the current circumstance, what might be said about what's to come? Obviously, there will be more casualties and food uncertainty on a huge level in light of the fact that there is additionally a showdown with environmental change and undermining horticulture, which is one of the fundamental wellsprings of food, if wars increment and the utilization of military weapons that will be impacted is the climate and agribusiness, where the air will be dirtied and hence the sea will gather more fossil fuel byproducts, however as we probably are aware the sea can not bear our weight for quite a while, Then individuals or the public authority will utilize this water to flood harvests, and afterward the water level in the sea will diminish, and we ought not fail to remember that the dirt will be contaminated because of tossing military leftovers, consequently, desertification and dry season will increment, farming exercises will diminish, the economy will diminish, and the hungry and food weakness will increment.

    I imagine that this number will be impacted by the Taliban government, since it will expand their killing and their utilization of war apparatuses, and consequently they will build the danger of nourishment for individuals, And likewise, the bar will increment, and subsequently individuals can not trade or recuperate, and accordingly the level of items in the market will diminish, and this will cause an expansion in the cost of the items, and this will be a secret weapon for the Taliban government, as it will begin applying individuals to bring them items and get cutting going the water and materials required for agribusiness until the tension increments on individuals and individuals submit to them, and this will build their burglary of individuals and the killings because of abuse or exploitation.

    Reply to this comment
  • Ditton Logo loving_beaver | Ditton Primary School | United Kingdom
    09 Nov 2021

    Around 47,245 civilians have died in Afghanistan since 2001 and 555,000 have fled their homes because of the Taliban taking over and making new laws, killing people and hunting people . Around 20 million people live in fear and poverty; Around 2 million girls go to school in Afghanistan this is because of the Taliban taking food and locking down airports in pakistan, Kabul and other citys and town

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      loving_beaver's comment 09 Nov 2021

      What do you think about the numbers you have researched?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg pioneering_wilddog | Jabalia Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    09 Nov 2021

    In fact, I find that (more girls go to school) is the most interesting number, because this number opens up exciting questions for you:
    Isn't education really one of the basic human rights that have been mentioned in all human rights treaties???
    Aren't women and men on the same level, so why does he give boys a right, and take away the same right from girls???
    Why this sudden change from ... to???
    Will some of the girls who could not receive an education because of the laws turn against the Taliban??? Or will there be no effect?
    Will the education of girls affect the country positively or negatively?
    A lot of questions, but in my opinion, this is one of the best decisions that someone has taken for girls, because this will help more in raising the level of society, because women's point of view is always completely different from that of men, and this will make a difference .

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      pioneering_wilddog's comment 09 Nov 2021

      Lots of great questions showing your curiosity - can you find the answers to any of them?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg enchanted_turkey | School of Excellence Sector-23 Rohini | India
    10 Nov 2021

    The figure that had my attention is the one that shows that these 20 years of conflict and internal war took 2,41,939 lives. This is a significantly high number and casualties have been a constant result of retaliation and domination. The article also highlights that women constitute 43% of the casualties in 2002 which probably envices massive crime rate against women as well. When we talk about casualties I prefer to talk about numbers irrespective of the group they belonged to because a life taken is not a glorious achievement. However, what caused these many civilian casualties which are almost equivalent to the military and police death? Afghanistan was a democracy before the resurgence of the Taliban still the number is enormous. Do we need to reconsider our definition of democracy? How is Pakistan playing a crucial role in the development of figures?

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar.jpg EXPERT: Alexander @ Clifford Chance
      enchanted_turkey's comment 10 Nov 2021

      Lots of great questions enchanted_turkey. Can you think of why it might be useful or insightful to think about casualties in terms of their demographic identities?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg independent_technology | Jabalia Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    10 Nov 2021

    Today I will tell you in my own words about what has been happening in Afghanistan over the years
    Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in Central Asia
    The history of this country has gone through great events
    After the exit of the Soviet Union, the Taliban appeared and took control of the capital, Kabul, and most of the lands of Afghanistan
    People began to wonder what is happening in Afghanistan, what is the story of the Taliban movement, how it took control of Afghanistan, and why the United States of America withdrew from Afghanistan
    The Taliban decided to eliminate the Islamic parties, take control of Afghanistan, and establish an Islamic emirate
    Indeed, within two years, the Taliban managed to control most of the lands of Afghanistan and control the capital, Kabul in the year 1996
    And their announcement of the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and the years passed, to come in 2001, and the world became aware of the sight of the planes that entered the World Trade Tower, which is located today in the United States of America.
    So the President of the United States asked the Taliban movement to rule Afghanistan, so the Taliban movement rose to the mountains and from there launched attacks on the American forces, and the United States was unable to eliminate the Taliban movement

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      independent_technology's comment 11 Nov 2021

      Thank you independent_technology. Just to clarify, the Taliban were not to blame for the 9/11 attacks, this was a group called al-Qaeda. The Taliban however refused to hand al-Qaeda members over to America.

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg blissful_message | Pabna Cadet College | Bangladesh
    15 Nov 2021

    I think that 'many girls attending school' is the most interesting number, because this number has some astonishing questions. they are
    Doesn't boys and girls have equal rights, so why does boys get a right but girls are deprived of it?
    Isn't education really one of the basic human rights that have been mentioned everywhere?
    Will a portion of the young ladies who couldn't get schooling in view of the laws betray the Taliban??? Or then again will there be no impact?

    Will the schooling of young ladies influence the nation decidedly or adversely?

    A great deal of inquiries, however as I would see it, this is probably the best choice that somebody has taken for young ladies, since this will help more in raising the degree of society, since ladies' perspective is in every case totally not the same as that of men, and this will have an effect .

    Reply to this comment
    1. Alice.jpg EXPERT: Alice @ Clifford Chance
      blissful_message's comment 16 Nov 2021

      Hi Blissful_message - you mention that it will have an effect if ladies are not participating in society. Are there any areas of life where you think it is particularly important to have a female opinion? Why?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg majestic_moon | Beit Hanoun Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    24 Nov 2021

    About five million people fled and could not return to their homes. I was amazed at this number. Where do they flee?? Who will receive such a large number??? All these questions run through my mind and I can't find an answer

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      majestic_moon's comment 25 Nov 2021

      Great questions!

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg free_planet | Jabalia Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    25 Nov 2021

    Taliban's policies against women's rights
    The Taliban have said they will not prevent women from being educated or having jobs.Afghan women had been active in humanitarian relief organization untill the taliban imposed severe restrictions on their ability to work.As we know, Islam has a tradition of protecting the rights of women and children. In fact, lslam has specific provisions which define the rights of women in areas such as marriage, divorce,education and property rights.The Taliban's version of islam is not supported by the world's Muslims. so we saw how women are imprisoned in their homes, and are denied access to basic health care and education.Taliban tell working women to stay at home.Many women workers have been afraid to go to work since the return of Taliban, without a written agreement, women workers will feel less secure and able to continue thier work.Also Taliban have banned girls from education and working in tv programmes .Taliban policy makes millions of girls and women understandably fearful of their education and working.
    I think ,education is fundemental human right , but in the past two months it has been t
    aken away from million of Afghan girls

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar.jpg EXPERT: Alex @ KPMG
      free_planet's comment 01 Dec 2021

      @free_planet this is a great response. Can you back up your points with numbers or statistics?

      Reply to this comment

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