COVID-19 in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of at least 1.271 people and infected more than 36.500 so far. But the effects of the pandemic in the country go beyond that, causing severe social and economic damage.
According to the SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) quarterly report, in addition to the one-third of the population that is already in a crisis or facing food insecurity, the pandemic will push an alarming number of eight million Afghans into poverty, increasing the poverty rate from 55% to 80%
The pandemic has not only overwhelmed the ill-prepared health system of the country, but it has also affected the economy. Measures taken to face the situation, such as the shutdown of trade routes, has resulted in food-supply disruptions, rising food prices and increasing unemployment. With respect to this, SIGAR predicts that the Afghan economy could contract 3–10% in 2020.
The report also mentions that Afghanistan, hit hard by years of fighting, was "headed for a humanitarian disaster" as the virus continues to spread and violence continues to rise.