The World Bank is cautiously optimistic that Afghanistan will avoid an economic collapse. It noted in an April report that the country is expected to receive about $8 billion in annual foreign assistance in the coming years. There is also $17.9 billion in U.S. funds that were approved but not spent, U.S. officials say. Obama has pledged that American aid will flow into Afghanistan for years to come.
But the World Bank says the situation remains tenuous, with projections of a 5 percent growth rate contingent on security and the country’s ability to control corruption and tap its rich mineral deposits.
In a nation racked by decades of fighting — first a Soviet invasion, then civil war, then an ongoing conflict with the Taliban — many people fear that the government won’t be able to maintain order. Well-to-do Afghans have already started shifting assets abroad.