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Every half hour, an average of one Afghan woman dies from pregnancy-related complications, another dies of tuberculosis and 14 children die, largely from preventable causes. Eight years after the fall of the Taliban, the humanitarian and development needs in Afghanistan remain acute. Undoubtedly, Afghans have seen some improvements, particularly in the expansion of access to healthcare and education. While it costs approximately $1 million a year to support the deployment of one US soldier in Afghanistan, an average of just $93 in development aid has been spent per Afghan per year over the past seven years. Far too much aid has focused on ‘quick fixes’ and band-aid approaches rather than on what will produce positive and lasting results for Afghans over the long term.

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