Publication: Afghanistan Development Update, August 2018

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World Bank
The Afghanistan Development Update is a twice-annual publication providing analysis of recent developments and presenting the World Bank team’s most-recent macroeconomic projections. The August 2018 edition focuses on the state of the economy in the context of upcoming elections, and the potential for a loss of recent momentum as confidence declines. Special topics address: i) the potential for trade to underpin development in Afghanistan; ii) recent trends in poverty and welfare; and iii) priorities for improving education quality and coverage. Afghanistan has experienced slow growth since 2014, with the draw-down of international security forces, accompanying reductions in international grants, and a worsening security situation (growth has averaged 2.3 percent between 2014-2017). Following a period of political instability after the 2014 elections, the economy has slowly regained momentum as reforms have been implemented and confidence restored. From a low of 1.5 percent in 2015, real GDP growth accelerated to 2.3 percent in 2016, and is estimated at 2.7 percent for 2017. Building momentum now appears to be at some risk, with increasing election-related violence, declining business confidence, worsening drought conditions, and some apparent slowing of economic activity. Growth is projected at 2.4 percent in 2018, with substantial downside risks arising from the prospects of political instability around upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. Risks can be partly mitigated and recent momentum maintained through: i) continued reform progress, demonstrating to investors that the deterioration in governance seen in 2014 will not be repeated; and ii) continued donor commitment to sustained grant support.
World Bank. 2018. Afghanistan Development Update, August 2018. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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