European Union Agency for Asylum: Key Socio-Economic Indicators in Afghanistan and Kabul City – Country of Origin Information Report (August 2022) – Afghanistan
The purpose of this report is to provide information relevant to the assessment of international protection status determination, including refugee status and subsidiary protection. In particular, it is intended to inform the April 2022 Afghanistan country guidance update. The terms of reference can be found in Annex 2.
This report was written by the Austrian Center for Research and Documentation on Countries of Origin and Asylum (ACCORD), as mentioned in the Acknowledgments section. This report is produced in accordance with the EASO COI reporting methodology (2019)2 and the EASO COI reporting and referencing guide (2019).3 Definition of the terms of reference The terms of reference were defined by the EUAA and were based on information needs for Country of Origin Information (COI) and policy experts in EU+ countries as part of development of national guidance on Afghanistan. The terms of reference are available in Annex 2: Terms of reference.
Collection of information
In line with EASO’s COI reporting methodology, the information collected is the result of research using public, specialist paper and electronic sources. The reference period is from December 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Some additional information was added during the finalization of this report in response to comments received during the quality control process, until August 4, 2022.
To ensure that the writers adhere to EASO’s conflict of interest reporting methodology, a review was carried out by conflict of interest specialists from the countries and organizations listed as reviewers in the Acknowledgments section. All comments made by the reviewers have been taken into consideration and most of them have been implemented in the final version of this report.
Sources In line with EASO’s COI reporting methodology, the content of this report is based on a range of different open source documents. Among other things, the report draws on the Afghanistan Humanitarian Needs Overview published by UNOCHA4, a study published by Silvia Mila Arlini and Melissa Burgess written for Save the Children5, a UNHCR multi-sector rapid assessment covering households in the 34 provinces6 and several World Food Program publications7.
Local Afghan media outlet Hasht-e Subh is used as a source in the report, although a change in tone was noted during the editorial exercise which became more critical of the Taliban, particularly on the events taking place in the province of Panjsher. Due to difficulties in assessing the reliability of this source, case-by-case assessments have been made on the inclusion of Hasht-e Subh’s reports. Particular attention was given to topics related to resistance groups involving the Panjsher province and the interactions of the Taliban with the local population of this region as well as with Tajiks in general. Hasht-e Subh’s reports were often unsubstantiated. Efforts to corroborate the information have been made but have not always been possible.
All sources are described in Annex 1: Bibliography.
Structure and use of the report
The report is structured in accordance with the terms of reference. The first chapter provides general information about Afghanistan; chapters two through seven provide an overview of key socio-economic indicators for Afghanistan and Kabul city, chapter eight covers issues specific to children, chapter nine provides information on support networks, and chapter ten discusses mobility and movement within the country. In addition, most chapters also include subsections on the situation of female-headed households, as well as the situation of IDPs and returnees.
In this report, the Afghan authorities operating under the Taliban (as of August 2021) are described as the de facto authorities, as the announced state or interim government has not been recognized internationally. For readability, specific ministries or ministers operating under the Taliban are referred to, for example, as the “Taliban Ministry of Interior” or the “Taliban Minister of Foreign Affairs”. People working in lower-level authorities, who have been appointed by the Taliban or who have returned to work since the takeover are not systematically referred to as de facto state employees or Taliban officials, but efforts have been made to clarify the context in which these people work.
The administration of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which collapsed during the Taliban takeover on August 15, 2021, is either referred to by its official name or “the previous government”. Where reports refer to the previous Taliban government of the 1990s, this is noted in the text.
Footnote citations to documents released by Afghan authorities (usually previously cited as “Afghanistan”) are aligned with this terminology. This is to ensure a clear distinction between publications made by the previous elected Afghan government and publications published under the current de facto authorities.
Due to the Taliban takeover in August 2021, research limitations when writing this report were observed. These challenges included: reduced and restricted media coverage, closure of local media and flight of journalists, censorship, Taliban political interference in the work of journalists, threats and violence against workers and media outlets, and difficulties in verifying the reliability of sources/information and corroborating information, particularly from social media sources.8 Efforts were made to locate reliable and corroborated information to the extent possible given the limits.
With regard to population figures, there is a “lack of reliable current disaggregated demographic data at the provincial and district level”. 9 The last national census was carried out in 1979. The figures published by the de facto Taliban authorities in 2022 are based on the list of households for the years 2003-2005.