In 2016, Afghanistan ranked second in the top countries of origin in EU Member States plus Norway and Switzerland countries, with more than 175,000 applicants seeking asylum. In the first seven months of 2017, more than 28,000 applications have been lodged in the region by Afghans, still ranking second.
These are the findings by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled ‘Afghanistan Key socio-economic indicators, state protection, and mobility in Kabul City, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat City’.
In addition, the Afghan applications constitute the largest backlog of all countries of origin. At the end of July 2017, there were more than 93,000 asylum applications from Afghan nationals in the EU Member States plus Norway and Switzerland countries pending at first instance.
The report provides a general description of the socio-economic situation in three cities in Afghanistan – Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif and Herat – covering the following topics: economic growth; employment; poverty; food security; access to education; health care; housing; and coping strategies.
The report also looks into actors of protection, focusing both on different branches of the Afghan National Security Forces and the formal justice system. Finally, travel into these three cities is researched by looking into restrictions or requirements on travel in Afghanistan and ways of travelling by domestic air traffic.