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Afghanistan Unemployment figures: A matter of serious concern for stability   

By Srimal Fernando and Nazi Karim*

27 August 2018

After more than sixteen years of U.S.-led coalition’s stabilization efforts in Afghanistan the country is sliding backwards due to the deteriorating security situation. 1.8 million eligible Afghan worker’s are unemployed and youth unemployment rate has now risen to 40 percent (UNDP 2018).   

Economic disparities are clear in the different provinces. Poverty occurs broadly where factors like social income are profoundly structured by access to resources.

Reducing unemployment must be a priority for the authorities to eliminate the vicious cycle of the poverty trap.  

Young Afghans need access to training to take advantages of opportunities that present themselves especially in the remote areas where there are relatively few quality jobs.

Work experience, networks and social connections are key factors to challenging unemployment in the urban areas.

Government's priority of  zero tolerance on corruption must be immediately implemented as part of a multi-level strategy. Schooling, educational and vocational training will narrow the gap between the rural and urban pool of job seekers. Young Afghan women and men should have a right to an education. Land and property ownership still remains a major source of livelihood.

In recent years many young educated Afghans fled the country due to the social upheaval in the country. The outflow or brain drain of professionals has created a vacuum of certain expertise. The National employment   Program (NEP) undertaken by the Afghanistan government has provided short term solutions to address these and other issues of joblessness. Public and private sector infrastructure development should translate into high income employment and the growth of the economy. Government should be a positive force in facing these challenges to bring benefit and uplift the citizens of Afghanistan in all provinces and regions.

Srimal Fernando is a Global Editor for Diplomatic Society of South Africa and an International Affairs Research Scholar at Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) India. Nazi Karim is a contributing op-ed writer from Afghanistan  and   a Master of Arts (M.A.)   graduate in Sociology from South Asian University India.



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