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Note: This material has been taken from "Provincial Development Plan, Kabul Provincial Profile" prepared by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), 2007.




Kabul province is Located in the Central Region and is bordered by the provinces of Parwan in the Northwest, Kapisa in the Northeast, Laghman in the East, Nangarhar in the Southeast, Logar in the South, and Wardak in the Southwest. The province covers an area of 4585 km2. More than half of the province (56.3%) is mountainous or semi mountainous terrain while more than one third of the area is made up of flat land (37.7%), as the following table shows:

Topography type
Flat Mountainous Semi Mountainous Semi Flat Not Reported TOTAL
37.7% 34.6% 21.7% 5.4% .5% 99.9%
Source: CSO/UNFPA Socio Economic and Demographic Profile


The province is divided into 14 districts, plus the provincial capital, Kabul City, which has a population of about 1,925,548 inhabitants.


Demography and Population

Kabul province has a total population of 2,425,067. There are an estimated 78,593 households in the province and households on average have 7 members. The following table shows the population by district.

Population by Districts
District Number of males Number of females Total population
Kabul-Provincial Centre 979,643 945,905 1,925,548
Deh Sabz 24,288 23,080 47,348
Mir Bacha Kot 16,028 16,433 32,461
Kalakan 9,208 8,986 18,192
Qara Bagh 25,312 25,009 50,321
Farza 7,793 7,346 15,139
Estalef 8,367 8,146 16,513
Guldara 7,314 6,931 14,245
Shakar Dara 29,056 28,588 57,644
Paghman 42,013 40,584 82,597
Chahar Asyab 13,453 12,636 26,088
Musahi 9,317 9,034 18,351
Khak-i-Jabar 3,811 3,650 7,461
Bagrami 34,902 33,385 68,287
Surubi 22,677 22,194 44,871
Total 1,233,180 1,191,887 2,425,067


Around 19% of the population of Kabul lives in rural districts while 81% lives in urban areas. Around 51% of the population is male and 49% is female. Pashtu is spoken by around sixty percent of the population and Dari is spoken by around forty percent. A small number of people located in 5 villages speaks Pashaie.

Kabul province also has a population of Kuchis or nomads whose numbers vary in different seasons. In winter 49,754 individuals, or 2.1% of the overall Kuchi population, stay in Kabul. Of those Kuchi that live in Kabul in winter, 47% are short-range migratory, 16% are long-range migratory and 37% are settled. Three quarters of both the long-range and the short-range migratory Kuchis are only partially migratory, so a part of the community remains behind in the winter area. Long range Kuchis from the provinces of Nangarhar and Laghman, and in much smaller numbers from Kapisa, Khost, and Wardak, come to Kabul in summer and this makes Kabul the most important summer province for the Kuchi. The most important summer areas for the short range migratory Kuchi are the Paghman, Dehsabz, Bagrami, Charasyab, Goldara, Surobi and Shakardara districts of Kabul province. The most important summer areas for the long range migratory Kuchi are Wardak, Parwan and Logar provinces. The Kuchi population in the summer is 220.251, which represents 9.1% of the total Kuchi population.



Infrastructure and Natural Resources

The provision of basic infrastructure such as water and sanitation, energy, transport and communications is one of the key elements necessary to provide the building blocks for private sector expansion, equitable economic growth, increased employment and accelerated agricultural productivity. In Kabul province, on average 65% of households use safe drinking water. This rises to nearly three quarters (71%) in the urban area, but falls to under half (41%) of households in rural areas. More than nine-tenths of households (92%) have direct access to their main source of drinking water within their community; however 7% of households have to travel for up to an hour to access drinking water.

Time required accessing main source of drinking water

In community Less than 1 hour 1-3 hours 3-6 hours
% 92 7 1 0
Source: NRVA 2005


On average only a quarter (25%) of households have access to safe toilet facilities. The situation is better in the urban area where 32% of households have safe toilets. The following table shows the kinds of toilet facilities used by households in the province:

Toilet facilities used by households

None/ bush open field/ Dearan / Sahrah (area in compound but not pit) Open pit Traditional covered latrine Improved latrine Flush latrine
% 0 2 4 69 14 11
Source: NRVA 2005


On average 61% of households in Kabul Province have access to electricity with the majority of these relying on public electricity. Access to electricity is greater in the urban areas where nearly three quarters (71%) of households have access to electricity; however, this figure falls to under a third (29%) in rural areas, and only half of these (14%) have access to public electricity.

The transport infrastructure in Kabul is reasonably well developed, with around two thirds (68.1%) of roads in the province able to take car traffic in all seasons, and a quarter (26.2%) able to take car traffic in some seasons. However, in 5.4% of the province there are no roads at all, as shown in the following table:

Road Types

District Cars all season Cars some seasons No roads Not Reported
Dare Sabz
.0% .0%
Mir Bache Koot
.0% .0%
.0% .0%
.0% .0%
Shekar dare 62.0% 38.0% .0% .0%
Yaghman 80.2% 10.4% 8.5% .9%
Chahar Asiab 83.7% 10.2% 6.1% .0%
Moseei 97.4% 2.6% .0% .0%
Khak Jabbar 45.7% 51.4% 2.9% .0%
Bagrami 89.2% 10.8% .0% .0%
Sarobi 45.5% 48.7% 5.8% .0%
Total 68.1% 26.2% 5.4% .3%
Source: CSO (analysis by AIRD)


As far as telecommunications are concerned, all districts in the province except Musahi and Khaki Jabbar are covered by both the AWCC and Roshan networks. The district governors offices of Kalakan, Istalif and Sorobi districts are also equipped with digital telephones and Sarobi district is partially covered.


Economic Governance and Private Sector Development

Creating the conditions in which a dynamic and competitive private sector can flourish, is key to promoting economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction. Kabul is a centre of trade and commerce, particularly in the urban centre, as well as an agricultural province with production concentrated in the rural districts. More than half of all households (53%) in the province, including around two thirds (61%) of urban households and one third (31%) households in rural areas derive income from trade and services. Around a quarter of households (27%) earn some income through nonfarm related labor, including one in five (22%) urban and two in five (40%) rural households. Agriculture is a major source of revenue for 11% of households in Kabul Province, including 41% of rural households and 3% of households in the urban area. Fifty two percent of rural households and 1% of urban households own or manage agricultural land or garden plots in the province. Livestock also accounts for income for 8% of rural households, as the following table shows:

Sources of income reported by households
Source of income Rural (%) Urban (%) Total (%)
Agriculture 41 3 11
Livestock 8 0 3
Opium 0 0 0
Trade and Services 31 61 53
Manufacture 5 6 6
Non-Farm Labor 40 22 27
Remittances 1 1 1
Other 2 11 9
Source: NRVA 2005


In 2005 there were 23 Agricultural cooperatives active in Kabul involving 2376 members. This was 58% more people than in 2003 when the figure was only 1389 members. In 2005 agricultural cooperatives controlled a total of 5250 Ha of land and achieved a surplus of products for sale of 20,000 tons. As a result of this, each member held a share in the capital of the cooperative to the value of 509,800Afs.

The production of industrial commodities appears to be concentrated in specific districts. Cotton is produced in many villages in Surubi, Paghman, Dih Sabz, and Khaki Jabbar districts. Sugar extracts are produced in 44 villages located in Paghman, Bagrami, Chara Syab, Surubi, Mir Bacha Kot, Musayi and Qarabagh. Tobacco is produced in 34 villages located in ten districts, but half of the villages are in Paghman alone. Olives are also produced in small quantities in Farza, Shakar Dara and Paghman districts.

In the sector of small industries, honey is produced in nine villages, five of which are locatd in Chara Syab and the others in Istalif, Paghman, Bagrami, and Surubi districts. Silk, karakul skin and dried sugar are also produced in very small quantities in some of the districts of Kabul.

On the other hand, many villages are engaged in handicrafts. Carpet is the most common handicraft produced in Kabul province. Most of the villages involved in carpet production are located in Qara Bagh, Shakar Dara, Mir Bach Kot, Istalif, Kala Kan, and Farza. Rugs are the second most common handicraft. These are produced mostly in Shakar Dara and Mir Bacha Kot. Jewelry is produced in 12 villages of Paghman and five villages of Farza. Pelisse is produced in 9 villages, pottery in eight villages and shawls in seven villages in the province.

In 2005, 23% of households in Kabul reported taking out loans. Of these loans, a small percentage was used to invest in economic activity such as business investment (5%), agricultural inputs (4%) and buying land (1%).


Agriculture and Rural Development

Enhancing licit agricultural productivity, creating incentives for non-farm investment, developing rural infrastructure, and supporting access to skills development and financial services will allow individuals, households and communities to participate licitly and productively in the economy. As agriculture represents the major source of income for a tenth of the households in the province, rural development will be a key element of progress in Kabul. The most important field crops grown in Kabul province include wheat, maize and barley. The most common crops grown in garden plots include grapes (68%) and fruit and nut trees (30%).

Nearly a third of households with access to fertilizer use this on field crops (29%) and to a much greater degree on garden plots (60%), although a tenth of households use fertilizer on both field and garden (11%). The main types of fertilizer used by households in the province are shown in the following table:

Main Types Of Fertilizer Used By Households
Human Animal Urea
% % % Average Kg per Household % Average Kg per Household
20 20 83 172.2Kg 80 190.0Kg
Source: NRVA 2005


Around half (51%) of households in both rural and urban areas in the province have access to irrigated land. Only 3% of rural households and 4% of urban households have access to rain-fed land.

Households (%) access to irrigated and rain-fed land

Rural Urban Average
Access to irrigated land 52 50 51
Access to rain-fed land 3 4 4
Source: NRVA 2005


Forty seven percent of rural households, 85% of Kuchi households and 4% of households in urban areas in the province own livestock or poultry. The most commonly owned livestock are poultry, cattle, sheep and donkeys, as the following table shows:

Households (%) owning poultry and livestock
Livestock Kuchi Rural Urban Average
Cattle 55 39 0 10
Oxen 0 1 0 0
Horses 0 0 0 0
Donkey 45 10 0 4
Camel 12 0 0 1
Goats 34 7 0 3
Sheep 55 14 0 5
Poultry 55 30 3 11
Source: NRVA 2005



Ensuring good quality education and equitable access to education and skills are some of the important ways to raise human capital, reduce poverty and facilitate economic growth. The overall literacy rate in Kabul province is 58%, however, while two thirds of men are literate (66%), this is true for around half of women (48%). In the population aged between 15 and 24 the situation for nearly three quarters (73%) of men and more than half (56%) of women are literate. However, the Kuchi population in the province has particularly low levels of literacy with just 2.8% of men and no women able to read and write.

On average just under half (46%) of children between 6 and 13 are enrolled in school. The propotion is similar for boys (48%) and girls (44%). Amongst the Kuchi population, one in twenty boys (5%) and one in fifty girls (2%) attend school in Kabul during the winter months and one in fifty boys and girls (2%) attend school in the province during the summer.

Overall there are 347 primary and secondary schools in the province catering for 746,626 students. Boys account for 59% of students and 73% of schools are boys’ schools. There are 19,497 teachers working in schools in the Kabul province, more than three-fifths of whom are women (63%).

Primary and Secondary Education

Schools Students Teachers

Boys girls boys girls male female
Primary 88 18 321679 246683 - -
Secondary 167 74 115115 63149 - -
Total 255 92 436794 309832 7177 12320
347 746,626 19497
Source: CSO Afghanistan Statistical Yearbook 2006


Access to schools is easier in Kabul than in many other provinces. Primary and secondary schools are located less than five kilometers away for about 70% of students and high schools are located at that distance for a little over half of students.

Kabul province also has a number of higher education facilities. There are four main universities in the province. Kabul University has many morning and night shift courses in faculties including engineering, agriculture, science, journalism, pharmacy, economics, fine arts, psychology, veterinary science. There are fourteen faculties teaching in the morning shift and eleven in night shift. In 2005 there were 9748 students enrolled at the university 7818 men (80%) and 1930 women (20%). Of those, 2961 students were in their first year, 2455 men (83%) and 506 women (17%). In total, 2235 students live in dormitories provided by the University including 2150 (96%) men and 85 (4%) women.

The second university is Kabul Polytechnic University which has three faculties; construction, geology and mines, and electro mechanics. In 2005 there were 2519 students enrolled at the university 2448 men (97%) and 71 women (3%). In total 1139 male students live in dormitories provided by the University.

The third university is Kabul Medical University which has three faculties: curative medicine, paediatric medicine and stomatalogy. In 2005 there were 2745 students enrolled at the university 2089 men (76%) and 656 women (24%). Of those, 75 students were in their first year, 62 men (83%) and 13 women (17%). In total 660 students live in dormitories provided by the University including 620 (94%) men and 40 (6%) women.

The forth university is the Education University which has five faculties including science, social sciences, literature and sport. In 2005 there were 3745 students enrolled at the university2104 men (56%) and 1641 women (44%). In total 328 students live in dormitories provided by the University including 320 (98%) men and 8 (2%) women.

Kabul also has a number of private universities.

There are nine vocational schools with 176 teachers catering for a total of 2633 students, 78% of whom are men and 22% are women. In 2005, 308 students graduated from vocational schools in Kabul province as shown in the following table:

Vocational Schools in Kabul Province
No Name of Vocational School Number of teachers Number of students Number of students who graduated in 2005
Male Female Male Female
1 Technique Secondary High School 22 2 378 0 91
2 Tejarat Vocational High School 5 3 590 34 114
3 Jamhuriat Vocational High School 0 35 166 516 17
4 Vocational High School for Blinds 26 5 79 38 -
5 Arts Vocational High School 12 4 230 0 14
6 Radio, TV and Refrigerator Repair School 10 1 215 0 40
7 Industrial Machines Repair High School 19 2 158 0 27
8 Qasaba Vocational High School 11 2 111 0 25
9 Road Machines Repair High School 12 5 118 0 -
Total 117 59 2045 588 308
176 2633


There are also two teacher-training institutes in Kabul Province. The first one, Sayed Jamaludine Teacher Training had 4518 students in 2005, 26% of whom were men and 74% women. Eight hundred and thirteen new teachers graduated from Sayed Jamaludine Teacher Training institute in 2005, including 52% women and 48% men.



Ensuring the availability of basic health and hospital services, and developing human resources in the health sector is essential to reduce the incidence of disease, increase life expectancy and enable the whole population to participate in sustainable development. A basic infrastructure of health services exists in Kabul province. In 2005 there were 63 health centers and 23 hospitals with a total of 3203 beds. In total there are 426 health posts in the 14 districts of the province. Thirty six 36 Basic Health Centres (BHC) and twenty four Comprehensive Health Centres (CHC) are supported by different NGOs.

There were also 643 doctors and 4790 nurses employed by the Ministry of Health working in the province, which represented 55% decrease in the number or doctors (down from 1429) but around a 7% increase in the number of nurses (up from 3000) since 2003. The major health facilities in the province are shown in the following table:

Health Services (Hospitals and Clinics by District)
District District Hospital CHC BHC
Deh Sabz
1 4
1 2
1 3
Qarabagh 1 0 5
1 0
1 0
0 2
1 5
4 4
Char Asyab 1 0 3
1 2
Khaki Jabbar
1 1
2 3
Sorobi 1 1 3
Total 3 17 37
    - CHC Comprehensive Health Center
    - Basic Health Center

Source: UNAMA


The province also has 3,083 pharmacies of which 3063 (99%) are owned privately and 20 (1%) are run by the government.

Many communities do not have a health worker permanently present in their community. Thirty two percent of men’s shura and 40% of women’s shura reported that there was no community health worker present, and both groups most commonly said that their closest health facility was a Basic Health Centre (BHC) or clinic without beds. One person in ten (10% of the population) has a health center and one in six (15%) has a dispensary in their villages and doesn’t have to travel outside their own villages to seek medical attention. A little more than half of the population has to travel less than 5 kilometers and more than one-fifth of population has to travel more than ten kilometers to reach their closest health center.


Social Protection

Building the capacities, opportunities and security of extremely poor and vulnerable Afghans through a process of economic empowerment is essential in order to reduce poverty and increase self-reliance. The level of economic hardship in Kabul is reasonably low. One-fifth of the households in the province (20%) report having problems satisfying their food needs at least 3 – 6 times a year and a further fifth of households (20%) faced this problem up to three times a year, whereas over half (57%) of households never experience problems of this kind, as the following table shows:

Problems satisfying food need of the household during the last year

Never Rarely (1-3 times) Sometimes (3-6 times) Often (few times a month) Mostly (happens a lot)
Households (%) 57 20 20 2 1
Source: NRVA 2005


Around a quarter of the population in the province (24%) is estimated to receive less than the minimum daily caloric intake necessary to maintain good health. This figure is considerably lower for the rural population (12%) than for people living in the urban area (29%). However, in both rural and urban areas nearly two-thirds (62%) of the population has low dietary diversity and poor or very poor food consumption as shown below:

Food consumption classification for all households

Low dietary diversity Better dietary diversity
Households (%) Very poor food consumption Poor food consumption Slightly better food consumption Better food consumption
Rural 17 24 24 35
Total 15 47 23 36
Source: NRVA 2005


In 2005, 10% of the population of Kabul province received allocations of food aid, which reached a total of 242,734 beneficiaries. In addition, of the 23% of households who reported taking out loans, just under half (45%) said that the main use of their largest loan was to buy food. A further 5% used the money to cover expenses for health emergencies. In the same year a little more than one-fifth of the households in the province (21%) reported feeling that their economic situation had got worse compared to a year ago, and around half of the households felt that it had remained the same (48%), as the following table shows:

Comparison of overall economic situation compared to one year ago

Much worse Worse Same Slightly better Much better
Households (%) 6 15 48 28 3
Source: NRVA 2005


In 2005 around one in six of all households in the province (16%) report having been negatively affected by some unexpected event in the last year, which was beyond their control. Rural households were slightly more vulnerable to such shocks, with 22% of households affected, as opposed to only 15% of urban households. People living in both urban and rural areas were most vulnerable to shocks related to natural disasters and financial problems. Problems related to drinking water (particularly in urban areas), and agriculture (particularly in rural areas) also affected around a fifth of households in the province, as the following table shows:

Households experiencing shocks in the province (%)
Types of shocks Rural Urban Average
Drinking water 12 19 18
Agricultural 22 4 11
Natural disaster 70 53 55
Insecurity 4 3 3
Financial 33 42 38
Health or epidemics 17 15 14
Source: NRVA 2005


Of those households affected, nearly half reported that they had not recovered at all from shocks experienced in the last 12 months (47%), and another half said they had recovered only partially (49%).



For more detail information please take a look at "A Socio-Economic and Demographic Profile, Household Listing -2003 (Central Statistics Organization)"




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