More than half of Afghanistan's population of 29.2 million people lived under the poverty line in 2016-17, the Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey said in a report on Monday.
According to the report by the country's Central Statistics Organization and the European Union, the rise to 55 per cent indicates an increase of 17 per cent from 38 per cent in 2011-12.
Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank director for Afghanistan, said in a blog that the report is the first estimate about Afghans' living conditions since the transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces after the end of NATO's combat mission in 2014.
‘The high poverty rates represent the combined effect of stagnating economic growth, increasing demographic pressures and a deteriorating security situation,’ Chaudhuri said.
This is while nearly half - 48 per cent - of the war-torn country's population is made up of children under age 15.
Afghanistan's economy plummeted after the withdrawal of combat troops and aid agencies, and the government has failed to replace the billions of dollars that once poured into the country from abroad.
Moreover, food insecurity has increased from 30 per cent in 2011-12 to 45 per cent in 2016-17, with some 13 per cent of the population being severely food insecure.
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