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Kabul, Sep 26 (UNI) Six years into the reconstruction of Afghanistan, new figures show that the human development indicators are lower than earlier estimated, emphasising the distressing economic condition of the country.

The Human Development Index scale has slipped down from one position to 174, the new National Human Development Report revealed.

The report comes after a gap of three years and shows that life expectancy and literacy have lowered than was estimated even in the 2004 report.

Though analysts say the figures should not be compared with a change in sample size and methodology, the this year's figures are disturbing even without any comparison from the past.

The Index for Afghanistan is notional but falls well below the neighbouring countries, and is only marginally above Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Mali, the three worst ranked countries.

The adult literacy rates is 23.5% while the Life expectancy at birth is 43.1, both lower than the earlier estimates.

The country's ranking in the Human Poverty Index has also come down from 94 to 103. The maternal mortality rate remains unchanged at 1600 to 100,000 live births, one of the highest mortality rates worldwide.

Positive indicators of change, however, include an increase in gross enrolment from 44.93% to 59.3%, increase in GDP from 822 Dollars per capita to 964 Dollars and a marginal increase in the Gender Development Index(GDI) from 0.300 to 0.310.

The new NHDR report focused on the issue of Rule of Law, defining a judicial system as a country's first line of defence especially in a war-ravaged society. The report argued that Afghanistan needs a 'hybrid' model that would bring together modern formal justice systems and the local traditional 'shuras' and 'jirgas' which have functioned as dispute resolution mechanisms.

The report is likely to be controversial in the context of the ongoing debate about the justice sector reform.

The formal justice system reaches only 20 per cent of Afghans currently and is seen as inefficient and corrupt. The Justice sector reform is one of the worst performing sectors and the judiciary has not been provided with the training to carry out its task.

The informal justice system, however, has some severe drawbacks, with resolutions that would be violative of international and humanitarian law. These include the practice of giving away a woman to settle a dispute or the sanction for murder of a family member of a perpetrator's family.

UNI

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