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Afghanistan’s economic growth to pick up slightly, World Bank Says
Business, consumer confidence yet to recover fully from foreign troop withdrawal KABUL, November 21, 2017— Afghanistan’s economic growth is projected to increase slightly to 2.6 percent in 2017 from 2.2 percent in 2016 as the country’s deteriorating security weighs on the economy, according to the latest Afghanistan Development Update series released today by the World Bank. Afghanistan’s security environment is continuing to deteriorate, with the increased crime and conflict holding back business and consumer confidence from recovering fully from the impact of the security transition in 2014 that saw large numbers of foreign troops leave. Economic growth has increased moderately from 2014–2015, when growth was the lowest since 2003. Proxy data for the first half of 2017, however, indicates that economic activity is continuing to languish, while business sentiment, gauged from the quarterly business perception surveys, has improved slightly between the first and second quarters of 2017, though it remains lower than in the second quarter of 2016. Because of government’s improved tax administration and better compliance, revenue collection is on track to reach the annual budgeted target. Revenue collection remained strong for the third year in a row, following the abrupt decline in 2014. In the first eight months of 2017, domestic revenues increased by almost 13 percent, year-on-year. “Deterioration in the security environment has had a direct impact on government efforts to sustain and scale up growth and job opportunities, and deliver much needed public services,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “We commend government’s determination to establish stability and peace across the country and sustaining these efforts will very much depend on progress in development. Improving local governance, deepening reforms, building public confidence and fighting corruption are key drivers of sustainable growth and prosperity.” Growth is projected to edge up to 3.2 percent in 2018, assuming no further deterioration in the security environment. While this constitutes a moderate improvement compared to 2014 and 2015, it is still significantly below the 9.6 percent average annual rate recorded in the period from 2003 to 2012. Weaker domestic demand and subdued investment sentiment, in the context of the increased violence and political uncertainty since 2014, have resulted in the lower growth trajectory. However, anecdotal evidence indicates that overall confidence is moderately improving, as the uncertainty around the international troop presence in Afghanistan is likely to subside following the announcement of the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. If improvements in security materialize, and with political stability, steady progress on reforms, and with aid flows continuing, at least at current levels, growth is likely to strengthen modestly. Growth could be boosted further in the next two to three years with the right combination of fiscal and policy reforms, including improving budget execution, and reorienting budget expenditures towards labor-intensive and community-based programs that directly reach the population with the greatest needs and with the highest marginal propensity to consume.
د نړیوال بانک نوی راپور: د افغانستان اقتصادي وده به څه نا څه ښه شي
د نړیوالو ځواکونو د وتلو اغیزې لا اوس هم پر متشبثینو او مستهلکینو پاتې دي او هغوی نه دي توانیدلي، څو خپل باور بیرته ترلاسه کړیکابل، د ۱۳۹۶ لمریز کال د لړم ۳۰مه– د نړیوال بانک د نوي اقتصادي راپور پر بنسټ د دې وړاندوینه کیږي، چې د افغانستان اقتصادي وده د تیر کال په پرتله د ۲،۲ سلنې څخه په ۲۰۱۷ زیږدیز کال کې ۲،۶ سلنې پورې لوړه شي. دا په داسې حال کې ده، چې د دغه هیواد پر اقتصاد باندې خراب امنیتي وضعیت ناوړه اغیزې لرلې.په هیواد کې امنیتي وضعیت خراب شوی، څنګه چې د نا امنۍ او جرمونو د کچې زیاتوالی نه پریږدي، چې سوداګر او  مستهلکین په بشپړ ډول هغه باور بیرته ترلاسه کړي، کوم چې په ۲۰۱۴ زیږدیز کال کې د امنیتي مسوولیتونو د لیږد له امله رامینځته شو او په ترڅ کې يې زیات شمیر نړیوال ځواکونه له هیواده بهر شول. د هیواد اقتصادي وده د ۲۰۱۴ او ۲۰۱۵ کلونو په پرتله، کله چې افغانستان له ۲۰۰۳ زیږدیز کال وروسته تر ټولو د کمې ودې شاهد وو؛ په نسبي ډول لوړ شوی دی.د ۲۰۱۷ زیږدیز کال د لومړیو شپږو میاشتو تقریبي ارقام د اقتصادي فعالیتونو د کم رنګه کیدو څرګندوي کوي، په داسې حال کې، چې د متشبثینو له کړنو او د فعالیتونو له کتنې څخه ربعواره سروې ګانې د دې ښکارندوي کوي، چې د ۲۰۱۷ زیږدیز کال د لومړۍ درې میاشتو څخه تر دویمې درې میاشتو پورې د مشتبثینو لیوالتیا او باور ښه شوی، خو بیا هم د ۲۰۱۶ زیږدیز کال د همدې مودې په پرتله څه نا څه لږ دی.د دولت لخوا د مالیاتو د را ټولونې او تطبیق د مدیریت ښه کیدو په پایله کې، اوس مهال د کورني عوایدو کچه ښه وضعیت لري او تمه ده، چې د سږ کال تر پایه پورې په بودجه کې ټاکل شوې موخې ته ورسیږي. په ۲۰۱۴ کال کې په بې سارې توګه د عوایدو کچې د را ټیټیدو وروسته، اوسمهال د عوایدو را ټولول د دریم پرله پسې کال لپاره په ښه توګه عملي کیږي. ترلاسه شوي ارقام د دې ښکارندوي کوي، چې د ۲۰۱۷ کال په لومړیو اتو میاشتو کې د کورني کلني عوایدو کچه ۱۳ سلنه ( د تیر کال د همدې مودې په پرتله) زیاتوالی راغلی."امنیتي وضعیت د اقتصادي ودې او کاري فرصتونو په رامنځته کولو او دوام او د عامه خدمتونو په وړاندې کولو کې د دولت پر هڅو مستقیم اغیز کړی دی،"په کابل کې د نړیوال بانک د دفتر مشر شوبهم چوهدري د دې مطلب د څرګندولو ترڅنګ ټینګاراو زیاته کړه :"موږ په ټول هیواد کې د سولې او ټیکاو رامنځته کیدو په تړاو د دولت له هوډ او ارادې څخه مننه کوو او د دې هڅو د بریالیتوب لپاره اړینه ده، څو په اقتصادي برخو کې پرمختګونه په تل پاتې ډول رامنځته او ورته اسانتیاوې برابرې شي. د سیمه ییزې حکومتوالۍ پراختیا، د اصلاحاتو رامنځته کیدل، د خلکو د باور ترلاسه کول او له فساد سره مبارزه هغه برخې دي، چې د اوږد مهاله ودې او سراسري هوساینې د ترلاسه کولو په موخه خورا مهم ګڼل کیږي." که چیري امنیتي اوضاع د اوسنۍ شرایطو په پرتله خرابه نشي، نو داسې وړاندوینه کیږي، چې په ۲۰۱۸ کال کې د افغانستان د اقتصادي ودې کچه به ۳،۲ سلنې ته لوړه شي. که څه هم دا ارقام د ۲۰۱۴ او ۲۰۱۵ کلونو په پرتله زیاتوالی څرګندوي، خو بیا هم د ۲۰۰۳ نه تر ۲۰۱۳ کلونو کې د ۹،۶ سلنې مینځنۍ کچې اقتصادي ودې په پرتله ډیر ټیټ دی. پر یوه وخت د کورني غوښتنو د کچې لږوالی او د مشتبثینو د باور راټیټیدل له یوې خوا او له بلې خوا د نا امنیو زیاتیدل او له ۲۰۱۴ زیږدیز کال وروسته د افغانستان سیاسي راتلونکې په اړه د ابهاماتو شتون د دې لامل شوو، څو د اقتصادي ودې کچه راټیټه شي. سربېره پر دې، غیر رسمي معلومات د دې ښکارندوي کوي، چې د متشبثینو او د مستهلکینو باور څه نا څه ښه شوی، ځکه د افغانستان او سویلي آسیا حوزې لپاره د امریکا د متحده ایالتونو نوې ستراتیژي له اعلان وروسته؛ د نړیوال ائتلاف د ځواکونو د شتون په اړه ابهامات تر یوه بریده لیري شوي دي. که چیري د امنیت ټینګښت او ټیکاو پراختیا لپاره شته فعالیتونه دوام ومومي او د اږودمهاله اصلاحاتو لړۍ او همدارنګه د نړیوالو مالي مرستو بهیر لږ تر لږه د اوس په شان دوام ومومي، تمه کیږي، چې د اقتصادي ودې کچه به هم په متعادل ډول لوړه شي. تمه کیږي، چې اقتصادي وده به تر راتلونکو ۲ نه تر ۳ کلونو پورې په مالي مدیریت او د پالیسیو د سمون په برخو کې د یو شمېر مشخصو تدابیرو په نیولو سره لوړه شي. کولای شوو په دې برخه کې په ښه ډول د بودجې مصرفول، د بودجوي لګښتونو لپاره د زیاتو سرچینو ځانګړي کول، چې زیات کاري ځواک ته اړتیا لري او سیمه ییز پروګرامونه، چې د ټولنې اړینو خلکو ته رسیږي؛ یادونه وشي.
گزارش تازه بانک جهانی: رشد اقتصادی افغانستان اندکی بهبود می یابد
اعتماد متشبثین و مستهلکین هنوز هم از تأثیر ناگوار خروج نیروهای بین المللی کاملاً اعاده نگردیده استکابل، ۳۰ عقرب ۱۳۹۶ – براساس تازه ترین گزارش اقتصادی بانک جهانی، پیش­بینی میگردد که رشد اقتصادی افغانستان تنها اندکی از میزان ۲،۲ درصدی سال گذشته به ۲،۶ درصد در سال ۲۰۱۷ افزایش یابد. این در حالیست که وخامت اوضاع امنیتی بر اقتصاد این کشور تأثیر ناگوار داشته است.وضعیت امنیتی در کشور به وخامت گرایده، چنانچه بلند رفتن سطح ناامنی و جرایم نمی ­گذارد اعتماد متشبثین و مستهلکین از اثرات انتقال  مسوولیت های امنیتی در سال ۲۰۱۴ – که در آن سال بیشترین تعداد نیروهای بین المللی از کشور خارج شدند – بطور کامل اعاده گردد. رُشد اقتصادی از سطح سالهای ۲۰۱۴ و ۲۰۱۵ – زمانیکه افغانستان شاهد پایینترین رقم از سال ۲۰۰۳ به بعد بود – بطور نسبی بلند رفته است.آمار تقریبی از نیمه اول سال ۲۰۱۷ میلادی تاکید بر کمرنگ شدن میزان فعالیت های اقتصادی مینماید، درحالیکه سروی های ربعوار از مشاهدات و برداشت­های متشبثین حاکی از آنست که تمایل و اعتماد متشبثین از ربع اول تا دوم سال ۲۰۱۷ بهبود یافته، اما باز هم نسبت به زمان مشابه سال ۲۰۱۶ اندکی پایینتر است.در نتیجه بهبود در مدیریت جمع­آوری و تطبیق مالیات از سوی دولت، اکنون عواید داخلی در سطح مطلوبی قرار داشته و توقع میرود تا آخر امسال به هدف تعیین شده در بودجه برسد. پس از کاهش سرسام آور میزان عواید در سال ۲۰۱۴، درحال حاضر جمع آوری عواید برای سومین سال متوالی به شیوه مطلوب آن عملی میشود. ارقام حاصله مبین آنست که در هشت ماه نخست سال ۲۰۱۷، اندازه عواید داخلی سالانه به اندازه ۱۳ درصد (در مقایسه با زمان مشابه در سال گذشته) رشد داشته است."وخامت اوضاع امنیتی تاثیر مستقیم بر تلاشهای دولت در راستای تأمین و تداوم رُشد اقتصادی و فرصت های کاری و ارائه خدمات عامه برجا گذاشته است،" شوبهم چوهدری، رییس دفتر بانک جهانی در کابل ضمن اظهار این مطلب، تصریح نمود: "ما از عزم و اراده دولت برای ایجاد صلح و ثبات در سراسر کشور قدر دانی می نماییم و جهت مؤثریت این تلاش ها نیاز است، تا در عرصه های اقتصادی پیشرفت ها به گونه پایدار تسهیل و تأمین گردد. بهبود حکومتداری محلی، گسترش اصلاحات، اعاده اعتماد مردم و مبارزه با فساد از جمله موارد کلیدی به منظور دستیابی به رشد مداوم و رفاه سراسری پنداشته میشوند."مفروض بر اینکه اوضاع امنیتی در مقایسه با شرایط فعلی بدتر نشود، پیش بینی میشود که میزان رُشد اقتصادی افغانستان در سال ۲۰۱۸ میلادی به ۳،۲ درصد افزایش یابد. گرچه این رقم نشان دهندۀ رشد بالاتر نسبت به سالهای ۲۰۱۴ و ۲۰۱۵ است، باز هم در مقایسه با میزان اوسط رُشد اقتصادی ۹،۶ درصدی میان سالهای ۲۰۰۳ و ۲۰۱۳ به مراتب کمتر است. کاهش همزمان تقاضای داخلی و تضعیف اعتماد متشبثین از یکسو، و تشدید نا امنی ها و ابهام نسبت به اینده سیاسی افغانستان پس از سال ۲۰۱۴ از سوی دیگر، به پایین آمدن سطح رشد اقتصادی انجامیده است.با اینحال، شواهد غیررسمی نشان میدهد که اعتماد متشبثین و مستهلکین کم کم رو به بهبود بوده، چون بعد از اعلام راهبرد جدید ایالات متحده امریکا برای افغانستان و حوزه جنوب آسیا، ابهامات در مورد حضور نیروهای ایتلاف بین المللی تا حدی برطرف گردیده است. اگر پیشرفت های حاصله به منظور تأمین امنیت و تحکیم ثبات گسترش یابند و روند اصلاحات درازمدت و جریان کمک های مالی بین المللی حداقل در وضعیت کنونی پایدار باقی بماند، توقع میرود که میزان رُشد اقتصادی نیز به گونه متعادل افزایش یابد. انتظار میرود که رُشد اقتصادی در ۲ تا ۳ سال آینده با اتخاذ یک سلسله تدابیر مشخص در عرصه مدیریت مالی و اصلاحات پالیسی افزایش یابد. از جمله میتوان بهبود بخشیدن تطبیق بودجه، و تخصیص بیشتر منابع برای مصارف بودجوی که نیازمند نیروی کاری بیشتر بوده و بر برنامه های محلی که به افراد نیازمند جامعه میرسند را برشمرد. 
Afghanistan: Improved Roads Unlocks Access to Services and Opportunities
DAMAN DISTRICT, Kandahar Province – Like every other weekend, Mawlawi Abdul Rahman kick-starts his motorcycle for the two-hour journey back home. A cleric in Hakim Jan village in Daman district, 70 kilometers away from Kandahar’s provincial center, Abdul Rahman is riding home to Kandahar city. In 2013, when Abdul Rahman, 35, first started working in Hakim Jan village, the road connecting the village to Kandahar, the Spin-Boldak main road, was not paved. Rocky terrain and the long commute time meant that he could visit his family only once a month. “At that time, the road was too muddy and there was water-logging in many parts of the road,” he says. “It was normal to see a car stranded and muddied along the road.” The challenging road conditions delayed access to basic essential services, such as health centers, especially in cases of emergency like childbirth. “Cars used to break down often and commuting made life hard for people here,” says Abdul Rahman. However, the situation has changed significantly now that the Afghanistan Rural Access Project (ARAP) has asphalted the road between the village and the city. “When the road was paved, I bought a motorcycle to get home easily,” Abdul Rahman says.
How Can Trade Accelerate Afghanistan’s Growth?
With an average annual population growth rate of 3 percent and an estimated 400,000 individuals entering the labor market each year, Afghanistan needs much higher growth rate to improve per capita incomes and to provide quality employment opportunities for the expanding workforce. Growth has exceeded expectations over the last two years, but remains low because of ongoing insecurity, a decline in foreign aid, and the lack of domestic and foreign investment.  With the anticipated normalization of aid levels over the long term, Afghanistan needs to urgently explore new sources for revenue generation and foreign exchange earnings.   While trade and regional integration can help boost Afghanistan’s growth, a new World Bank report, Trade as a Vehicle for Growth in Afghanistan: Challenges and Opportunities, argues that a successful trade strategy needs to take into account the country context and assess risks and opportunities. Key findings:Afghanistan’s largest constraint to trade is insufficient production capacity. Lack of economic diversification and high product concentration further limits Afghanistan’s export potential. Improving competitiveness in high potential sectors such as agriculture will help meet domestic demand, substitute imports, and potentially promote exports in the short and medium-term.Poor logistics and trade infrastructure, rather than lack of market access, explain Afghanistan’s trade underperformance. In the short term, exports could be improved by 20 percent by tackling export delays related to customs and border procedures, or high risks during transportation. In the long run, improvements in trade facilitation and logistics coupled with productivity improvements could lead to a more than six-fold increase in exports.The potential for services trade is underappreciated. While the export of services is constrained by Afghanistan’s small domestic market size and low human capital endowment, promoting the import of services, and thereby reducing cost, could help overcome current gaps in service delivery.Given the security environment, the potential of commodities transit trade might be modest and slow to materialize. Moreover, it would require large investment and strong policy effort to reduce Afghanistan’s distance from the frontier in infrastructure and logistics services.  However, the drivers of the currently high transportation cost need to be better understood to design a successful transit trade strategy. Recommendations:Agricultural production growth is constrained by lack of adequate facilities, limited access to high-quality inputs, and insufficient use of research and technology. Irrigated lands can potentially be increased through rehabilitating irrigation systems and investing in new ones, and investing in strong institutions and policies to improve irrigation water management. Efforts should also focus on creating an effective regulatory system and strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, as well the existing network of research stations.Private sector businesses lack elements of a supportive environment for their operations, new investments, and expansion. Actions to tackle these challenges include reforming the regulatory framework to expand the domestic agroprocessing industry and reduce the time and cost of exporting commodities; providing serviced land facilities in industrial parks and greater access to electricity; and implementing risk-sharing practices, particularly partial credit guarantees, to increase access to finance for the real economy.To meet domestic demand, substitute imports, and potentially promote exports, policies should focus on enhancing productivity and promoting investment to expand the scale and quality of agricultural production. Given that government resources are limited, intervention should prioritize development of selected value chains, including irrigated wheat, horticultural crops and livestock production, which have been identified as having the highest potential for development.
Partnering to Improve Healthcare in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR CITY, Kandahar Province – The doctor gently places the diaphragm of his stethoscope on the child’s chest. The little girl looks at the stethoscope curiously but says nothing, while her mother, Sharifa, 50, holds her arm so that the doctor can easily examine her. He completes the check-up and writes a prescription, telling Sharifa to administer the medication periodically to lower her daughter’s fever. “Until recently, we did not visit a medical doctor and had always used home remedies,” says Sharifa. “But we switched to coming to the clinic when we learned that the doctors are from our community and their medications are good quality.” The doctor, Sayed Massoom Nabizada, is the director of Dr. Adam’s Clinic in the ninth district of Kandahar city, the capital of Kandahar Province. Along with 17 colleagues, Dr. Nabizada provides daily health care services in the clinic from 8 am to 4 pm, seven days a week. The clinic serves a local population of 32,000 people, offering general check-ups, gynecology and obstetrics services, laboratory facilities, vaccination, malnutrition treatment, and a pharmacy. An average of 200 patients visit the clinic every day. Dr. Adam’s Clinic is among a group of health centers that has come under the supervision of the Bu Ali Rehabilitation and Aid Network (BARAN) since July 1, 2015. BARAN provides health care services and monitoring oversight for 51 health centers in the 17 districts of Kandahar Province.  It is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works in Kandahar to provide a basic package of health services, contracted by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) under the System Enhancement for Health Action in Transition (SEHAT) Program. The services are implemented through a performance-based partnership agreement between MoPH and BARAN. SEHAT aims to expand the scope, quality, and coverage of health services provided to the population, particularly for the poor and is supported by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), in partnership with multiple donors.
Afghanistan’s Public Procurement Racks Up Victories Against Corruption
KABUL – Afghanistan is making vast inroads to root out corruption, improve the management of its public finance, and make its procurement system more transparent, finds the 2016 Annual Performance Assessment Report, which evaluates the timeliness and quality of services provided by government personnel. The report named the National Procurement Authority (NPA) the top performer among 19 directorate generals and 63 teams, covering the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and two agencies, NPA and Afghanistan Extractives Industries Transparency (AEITI). The assessment pointed to the culture of performance emerging in NPA. “There is a good spirit in the workplace and all NPA teams work for a common vision to make the national procurement sector free of corruption,” says Mohamad Sohail Kaakar, Director for strategic communication and integrity at NPA. NPA has an energetic team with experience in working with many national and international organizations. This background has enabled them to establish a professional environment inside the authority. As Deputy Finance Minister Khalid Payenda says that “most NPA employees are experienced and highly educated young people. They have good coordination with each other, resulting in a professional environment and great teamwork.” He believes the NPA team is made up of valuable professionals working toward the government’s vision to improve public procurement and combat corruption. “Our focus is on results,” says Sohail Kaakar, “and as we have traveled a long way to reach where we are now, it keeps us motivated and gives us the diligence to work to institutionalize reforms.” The 2016 Annual Performance Assessment Report was conducted in two phases. First, teams conducted a self-assessment against 2016 activities from their Five-Year Fiscal Performance Improvement Plan, which supports the government in reaching its goals of sustainable government finances and self-reliance. Then, the self-assessments were validated by a team from the Performance Management and Public Expenditure Reforms Unit, formerly PM&PER, which operates under the MoF and works with MoF teams and agencies to develop five-year rolling plans that reflect international benchmarks. 
Afghan Farmers Learn to Grow More Crops
NAHR-E-SHAHI DISTRICT, Balkh Province – A gas lamp emits a dull glow in the otherwise dark, gray room. The room is humid and climate-controlled, heavy plastic bags hang from ropes dangling from the ceiling in neatly ordered, straight lines. Zakia, 24, wearing a special mask, is examining the bags and notices mushrooms sprouting in some of them. Carefully, she makes tiny holes in the plastic to take the mushrooms out. “This dark room has brought light to my life, it has given me the opportunity to earn a living,” Zakia says. She is one of thousands of beneficiaries of the kitchen gardening scheme under the National Horticulture and Livestock Project (NHLP). “I was without a job and dependent on others, but NHLP helped me and many other women in our village to become financially independent and self-sufficient,” says Zakia, who had recently established her mushroom production unit with NHLP support. Zakia, who supports her family of seven, lives in Ulmarab village, Nahr-e-Shahi district, in Balkh Province. She also maintains a kitchen garden in a micro-greenhouse, one of the other activities supported by NHLP, but that did not generate enough income to meet her financial needs. To set up the mushroom production unit, Zakia was given technical training as well as resources by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) under the NHLP. She has not only learnt the production process but has also mastered the art of developing and tapping the market. She sells mushrooms to her neighbors and nearby shops, and supplements these sales with vegetables from her kitchen garden, pitching herself as the one-stop supplier for garden produce.  She is the only woman in her village to own and manage an independent production unit, and is hailed as an example of economic empowerment by her community. Her life has changed and her dreams have grown. “I want to expand my work in the future, in addition to encouraging more women to start production or small businesses of their own,” she says. Najia, 45, another beneficiary from Ulmarab village, received training on how to cultivate vegetables and was given resources to build a micro-greenhouse. “I was a housewife before the kitchen gardening scheme,” says the mother of six, “I never had enough money to buy vegetables and did not know how to cultivate them in my yard.” Supplemented with grants of seasonal vegetable seeds, Najia quickly ensured nutritional and economic self-sufficiency for her 10 family members. “I cultivate leek, onion, cress, celery, carrot, and other vegetables. I used to buy vegetables from the shopkeepers, but now I produce for myself and also sell to them,” she says.  
South Asia Program on Hydromet, Climate Services and Resilience
Impact of Disasters and Climate Risks in South Asia South Asia is highly prone to weather and water-related disasters such as flooding, drought, thunderstorms and cyclones. In the past two decades, more than 50% of South Asians, or nearly 750 million people, have been affected by at least one natural disaster. The social and economic costs of such hazards is staggering and left almost 230,000 people dead and $45 billion in damages between 1970 and 2008. In India, direct losses incurred from natural disasters in 2003 equaled  2% of the country’s GDP and about 12% of its revenue. Pakistan has suffered $16 billion in losses since 2005. In Bhutan, damages caused by the 2009 Aila cyclone edged $17 million.
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