March 31, 2009 / 1:45 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX-Latest facts and figures on Afghanistan

March 31 (Reuters) - Taliban fighters in Afghanistan who abandon extremism must be granted an "honourable form of reconciliation", U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday at an international conference on Afghanistan.

Here are the latest facts and figures about Afghanistan:

SECURITY

* There was a 33 percent increase in security incidents in 2008 and a 31 percent increase in offensive operations by NATO-led and Afghan forces last year.

* More than 2,100 civilians were killed in 2008, around a quarter of them by Afghan and international forces, the United Nations says.

* NATO says insurgents killed 973 civilians last year, while international forces killed, 236, an overall rise in civilian casualties of more than 40 percent.

* Deaths of international troops rose by 37 percent in 2008 and deaths among Afghan forces rose by 6 percent.

* Insurgent improvised explosive device attacks rose by 27 percent last year.

* 70 percent of security incidents occurred in 10 percent of districts in 2008.

INTERNATIONAL FORCES

* Some 70,000 international troops are operating in Afghanistan, 38,000 of them American. Some 62,000 of the troops operate under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the rest in a U.S-led coalition force.

* The United States is sending 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan this year.

* ISAF forces rose by 37 percent in 2008.

AFGHAN FORCES

* Afghan forces rose by 28 percent in 2008.

* There are 82,000 troops in the Afghan National Army (ANA) which is to rise to 134,000 by 2012.

* 26,000 new Afghan soldiers were trained each year since 2007 and 28,000 are to be trained in 2009.

* The ANA led 62 percent of operations by December, 2008.

* Twenty-one of the ANA’s 68 battalions are able to plan and execute operations with no external support, NATO says. * There are 76,000 officers in the Afghan National Police (ANP) out of an authorised strength of 82,180.

* The ANP has suffered 60 percent of all security force casualties since 2007.

ECONOMY

* Afghanistan is 174th out of 178 countries on the U.N. Human Development Index.

* Afghanistan stands 176th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index.

* Afghanistan’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.5 percent in the Afghan year to March 2009 and GDP per person to rise to $456 from $352 the previous year.

* Some 90 percent of the Afghan government budget comes from international aid.

DRUGS

* Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium, which is processed to make heroin.

* Opium cultivation fell by 19 percent in 2008 and is expected to fall further in 2009 due to a glut in the market and farmers switching crops due to higher wheat prices.

* Opium production is worth an estimated $3 billion a year to the Afghan economy.

* Taliban insurgents make an estimated $100-200 million a year from taxing opium poppy production and trafficking.

Sources: NATO, U.N. (Complied by Jon Hemming; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)





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