Nieman Watchdog > Ask This > 'There hasn't been two seconds of intelligent discussion about living standards in Afghanistan'
Afghanistan is an economic basket case. The blurb says correctly:
‘ The poverty in Afghanistan is almost beyond imagining. Thirty Afghans die from TB every day; life expectancy is 43 years; per capita income is $426; only 13% have access to sanitary drinking water; fewer than one in four are literate; access to electricity is among the lowest in the world. Conditions for women are brutal. If Obama plans to address these issues, he’s pretty much keeping it secret, points out world poverty expert Jeffrey Sachs. ‘
To be fair, Obama is calling for much more civilian development, and budgeting money for it. But the real surge that is needed isn’t troops, it is Grameen Bank specialists and peace corps volunteers (in the north where they’d be safe).
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