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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

(Reuters) – Eight years after a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, the war-ravaged state is the most dangerous place in the world for a child to be born, the United Nations said on Thursday.

It is especially dangerous for girls, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in launching its annual flagship report, The State of the World's Children.

Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world -- 257 deaths per 1,000 live births, and 70 percent of the population lacks access to clean water, the agency said.

Another report published by Transparency International recently released its survey of corrupt countries. Afghanistan was ranked the second most corrupt, being only slightly better than Somalia (The U.S. was ranked 19th least corrupt).

This war has come at a high price. So far, we have spent 227 billion dollars in Afghanistan, with a proposed 73 billion to be spent there next fiscal year. There have been over 4500 casualties and 900 deaths of American troops. Meanwhile, almost 6600 Afghan civilians have died. These totals do not include our misguided detour through Iraq (which has cost 683 billion dollars so far, plus over 31,000 casualties and 4000 American deaths, and around 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths).
posted by Travis, 12:16 am

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