Living standards in Afghanistan are considered among the lowest in the world. In a 2014 report, the UN ranked Afghanistan 169th out of 185 countries on its global Human Development Index, which measures education, lifespan and economic performance.
More than one-third of people in Afghanistan live below the national poverty line—most of them in severe poverty. Many of Afghanistan’s challenges are due to conflicts, but others are inherent because of its climate and terrain: while 78% of the population works in agriculture, only 12% of the land can be farmed. Survival is not taken for granted: one in every 10 children born in Afghanistan will die before age 5.