The Afghan economy remains severely hampered by the new war with the Taliban, a World Bank report said Tuesday.
“The annual economic growth rate is anticipated to be around 2.6 percent in 2017,’’ the authors wrote.
This is a slight increase from 2.2 percent economic growth recorded in 2016.
However, the increased conflict appeared to be holding back business and consumer confidence from recovering fully from the impact of the security transition in 2014.
Economic growth drastically collapsed after the end of the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan in December 2014 and the handover of the responsibility for the war to the Afghan security forces.
“Political uncertainty and increased violence have resulted in the lower growth trajectory.
“Massive international aid efforts had previously helped to bring the average annual rate to 9.6 percent in the years between 2003 and 2012.
“Economic growth is projected to edge up to 3.2 percent in 2018, assuming no further deterioration in the security environment,’’ the report read.
According to the report, anecdotal evidence indicates that overall confidence is moderately improving, as the uncertainty around the U.S. troops presence in Afghanistan is likely to be resolved following the latest announcement of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
In August, U.S. President Donald Trump announced Washington’s intention to send thousands of additional soldiers back into Afghanistan, after years of troop reductions.