Afghanistan’s security agenda centres on the conflict between the Taliban-led insurgency and government forces, backed by NATO's coalition. Key concerns for the future are the viability of the Afghan government and the Afghan national security forces (ANSF) to continue as international funding withdraws along with the NATO-ISAF combat mission, as roughly 90 percent of government revenues rely on international donors, while 100 percent of ANSF funds come directly from the US. Insurgent groups frequently mount both guerrilla and terrorist attacks, particularly in the centre, south and east of the country. The other critical long-term challenge for the fragile power-sharing government of President Ashraf Ghani and his head of government, Abdullah Abdullah, is endemic corruption, most of all that linked to the narcotics industry.

Afghan history has long been characterised by the unsuccessful attempts of various regional and imperial powers, ranging from the British Empire to the Soviet Union, to control it in the face of the opposition from the country’s rugged and fragmented communities. Such struggles continue today, with competition between India and Pakistan currently the most destabilising for Afghan stability. Porous borders facilitate the movement of militants and narcotics. Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan is perceived in Kabul to have contributed significantly to the instability over the past decade, as Islamabad initially backed the Taliban's rise and then sheltered and backed it after the US-led invasion of 2001. Pakistan’s ISI military intelligence agency maintains extensive covert links with the Afghan Taliban, particularly with the network of militants led by the Haqqani clan.


Decades of conflict also meant that infrastructures such as transportation and communication in the country remain poor and require urgent upgrades. Some progress had been made in recent years but the constant attacks by Taliban and its affiliates remain a cause of concern for many outside of the country.

Hälsa, sjukdomar och vaccination

Travellers are advised to consult a travel health specialist or general practitioner to obtain the latest information on recommended vaccines 6-8 weeks before departure to Afghanistan. Ensure that routine vaccines (for influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT)) are up-to-date. In addition, travellers are advised to get immunised against hepatitis A and typhoid, and hepatitis B if not previously vaccinated. Rabies vaccine is recommended for those travellers likely to come into contact with animals, or who plan on spending an extended period of time in Afghanistan.

Travellers visiting Afghanistan from May to November—except if travelling above 2000m—should take malaria medication prophylactically. It is also highly recommended to use insect repellent to prevent against mosquito bites. 

Travellers should be aware of cutaneous leishmaniasis. The disease is a chronic skin infection transmitted by sand flies, and is most prevalent from May to October. Approximately 13 million people are at risk of the disease.

Cholera outbreaks occur every year in Afghanistan, however, most travellers are deemed at low risk.. Outbreaks are relatively common in northern, eastern, and southeastern Afghanistan, chiefly affecting the provinces of Laghman, Nooristan, and Nangarhar in the east; Samangan and Faryab in the north; and Nimruz in the west.

International health monitors warn that typhoid is endemic in Afghanistan due to poor drinking water supplies and sanitation networks. While the risk is high, it is also avoidable through vaccinations and vigilance in ensuring proper treatment of drinking water.

The risk of infection from avian viruses is low, particularly if visitors take precautions such as avoiding close contact with caged or wild birds, and ensure that egg and poultry dishes are sufficiently cooked.

Travellers are advised to drink only bottled water, or water that has been thoroughly filtered and boiled. Avoid ice cubes and ensure that vegetables and fruit are peeled and thoroughly cooked. Before eating dairy products, verify that they have been pasteurised.

Medical facilities have suffered from years neglect and under-funding. Afghan public hospital staff may not be licensed by the government, or even have a medical degree, while there is little public agency oversight. Facilities often lack basic cleanliness, diagnostic and treatment equipment, and even the most common medications. 

There are some private hospitals in Kabul, but they can only offer basic or routine care. Outside of Kabul there is little if any medical provision, although some international aid agencies do travel around the country offering temporary assistance.

Comprehensive medical insurance is a must, but travellers are warned that some companies that claim to intervene may not agree to come to Afghanistan. As such, those with medical evacuation (medevac) insurance should confirm with their insurance company that it will provide assistance in Afghanistan. Travellers should ensure they have adequate supplies of medicine they take regularly, or that they believe they may need, as these will not be available locally. 


Passports are required for entry into Afghanistan. Renewing passports is very difficult to do from inside the country, so travellers are advised to ensure their passport is valid for the duration of the trip.


All foreign travellers require a visa to enter Afghanistan. These must be obtained from the local embassy before departure as they are not available at any port of entry. Those who arrive without a visa are likely to have their passport confiscated, may be fined heavily, and possibly face deportation. 

Travellers who arrive in Afghanistan via military air and then try to leave on a commercial air route will face problems if they do not gain the requisite entry stamps in their passport. If flying into a military base, travellers are advised to quickly gain the necessary stamps and legalise their presence in the country, if there is the possibility of leaving via any means other than military air.

If arriving from a country infected with yellow fever, travellers will be required to show proof of vaccination against the disease.

For additional information visit TLCS at

  • Huvudstad: Kabul (pop. 3678034)
  • Religion: Islam
  • Tidszon: UTC+04

Landets nödnummer

  • Polis: 119
  • Brandkår: 119
  • Ambulans: 112

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