The Afghanistan Portal

Location of Afghanistan
Location of Afghanistan

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north, Tajikistan to the northeast, and China to the northeast and east. Occupying 652,864 square kilometers (252,072 sq mi) of land, the country is predominantly mountainous with plains in the north and the southwest, which are separated by the Hindu Kush mountain range. , its population is 40.2 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Kabul is the country's largest city and serves as its capital.

Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic era, and the country's strategic location along the historic Silk Road has led it to being described, picturesquely, as the ‘roundabout of the ancient world’. Known as the Graveyard of Empires, the land has historically been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, the Maurya Empire, Arab Muslims, the Mongols, the British, the Soviet Union, and most recently by an American-led coalition. Afghanistan also served as the source from which the Greco-Bactrians and the Mughals, among others, rose to form major empires. The various conquests and periods in both the Iranian and Indian cultural spheres made the area a center for Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and later Islam throughout history.

In 2021, Afghanistan was captured by the Taliban, which marked the end of the 2001–2021 war, the longest war in US history. This led to the overthrowing of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under President Ashraf Ghani and reinstating the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban. The US–Taliban deal, signed on 29 February 2020 in Qatar, was one of the critical events that caused the collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Following the deal, the US dramatically reduced the number of air attacks and deprived the ANSF of a critical edge in fighting the Taliban insurgency, leading to the Taliban takeover of Kabul. Soon after, former first vice president Amrullah Saleh declared himself the caretaker president of Afghanistan and announced the resistance against the Taliban. (Full article...)

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Number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Province of Afghanistan as of 24 December 2020.[needs update]
Number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Province of Afghanistan as of 24 December 2020.[needs update]

The COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have spread to Afghanistan when its index case, in Herat, was confirmed on 24 February 2020.

As of 30 July 2022, there have been 185,481[1] confirmed positive cases and 7,743[1] deaths. As of 13 September 2021, there have been 118,180 recoveries. Kabul Province has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan at 18,896, followed by Herat with 9,343 cases, and then Balkh with 3,431. However, on 5 August 2020, an official survey from the Ministry of Public Health reported that approximately a third of the country's population, or roughly 10 million people had contracted COVID-19. (Full article...)
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Aerial photograph of Helmand River at Gereshk in 2011.jpg
An aerial view of the Helmand River and the town of Grishk, Afghanistan, 2011

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  1. ^ a b Ritchie, Hannah; Mathieu, Edouard; Rodés-Guirao, Lucas; Appel, Cameron; Giattino, Charlie; Ortiz-Ospina, Esteban; Hasell, Joe; Macdonald, Bobbie; Beltekian, Diana; Dattani, Saloni; Roser, Max (2020–2022). "Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)". Our World in Data. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
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