Afghanistan Risk Assessment Country Guide 

Doing Business in Afghanistan

With a long history of war and conflict, Afghanistan is a dangerous place to live and work. Although the nation is home to nearly 30 million residents, terrorism and kidnapping is present all across Afghanistan, according to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). The current political climate is volatile and extremely unstable, and insurgents will likely be motivated to continue attacks while security is being shifted to the Afghan National Security Forces. 

As American troops began leaving Afghanistan in early 2014, instability consistently increased. Since then, fighting between the Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified tremendously--the worst on record since 2001. On September 29, 2015, the Taliban took over the northern Afghan capital of Kunduz, whose drug routes running through it make it a valuable asset to the Taliban. The country remains underdeveloped with 35% unemployment and 36% of the population living below the poverty line. 

On June 22, 2016, the State Department issued a travel warning for Afghanistan due to continued instability and threats of terrorism. Travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains unsafe due to the ongoing risk of kidnapping, hostage taking, military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, militant attacks, direct and indirect fire, suicide bombings, and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IED).

The FCO advises against all travel to certain parts of the country, including several districts of the Kabul and Baghlan provinces, as well  to Ghazni, Kapisa, Faryab and other regions throughout Afghanistan. In addition, only essential travel should be undertaken to Bamiyan, Parwan, Panjshir and other regions. 

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

Full-scale medical care is limited given the current volatile situation in Afghanistan. Therefore, you should contact your primary care physician before traveling to Afghanistan and discuss vaccinations and other preventative measures. Since medical facilities are also limited in Afghanistan, be sure to have all of your  prescription medication before traveling to Afghanistan.

Common illnesses in Afghanistan include diarrheal diseases, gastrointestinal infections, respiratory tuberculosis and malaria. These problems worsen during warmer months, and the dry and dusty conditions in both the summer and winter can cause irritation to the eyes, throat, nose and mouth. 

Polio incidence has dropped more than 99 percent since the launch of global polio eradication efforts in 1988. According to global polio surveillance data, the number of wild poliovirus cases dropped significantly in Afghanistan from 20 cases in 2015 to only 1 case in 2016.

Clements Worldwide offers Expat Health Insurance coverage. This policy includes USD 5 million in health care benefits, and allows you to choose any number of doctors across the world. Clements coverage enables  flexible payment plans, choice of deductible and optional War and Terrorism coverage. This coverage extends your policy to include illness or injury caused by an act of war and terrorism.

In addition to GlobalCare coverage, Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance is highly recommended while living in Afghanistan. A Clements policy covers expenses to transport you to a capable medical facility in case a local medical center isn’t able to provide adequate treatment.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Afghanistan..

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

Since Afghanistan is in political turmoil, many sections of the east, southeast and south are in the midst of conflict, while other regions have seen improvements. Travel throughout the country is still extremely dangerous.

Insurgents have set up false vehicle checkpoints, resulting in violent attacks in addition to car-jacking and robbery. It's recommended to travel in armored transport. The standard of driving is unpredictable with most roads in poorly maintained condition and uninsured local drivers.

On October 5, 2016 the United States Department of State warned against travel to Afghanistan due to ongoing threats of instability and terrorism. Travelers are at risk of kidnapping, being taken hostage, landmines, attacks by bandits, and injury or death from crossfire between political and military rivals. The country continues to face threats from extremists groups such as the Taliban, ISIS, and other armed groups. Travel to the region requires approval by state authorities and traveler’s access to consular service in the country is extremely limited.

On August 24, 2016, a bombing and shooting at the American University in Kabul killed more than 17 people and injured more than 50 others in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban is believed to be behind the attack.

On August 15, 2016, a bombing injured 2 people in Kabul, Afghanistan, outside the U.S. Embassy.

On August 10, 2016, a suicide bomber killed 2 and injured 15 others in a market in Mazar-I-sharif, Afghanistan.

On August 4, 2016, a rocket attack killed 10 and injured 5 others in Herat, Afghanistan. In the incident, two buses carrying foreign tourists—including eight Britons, 2 Americans, and a German—were attacked by the Taliban. 

On August 1, 2016 a truck bombing and shooting killed one and injured 4 others in Kabul, Afghanistan. A truck bomb exploded outside a popular hotel at 1:30 a.m. Security forces repelled the gunmen, killing 1 and injuring 4.

On July 23, 2016, two suicide bombers associated with the Islamic State attacked a rally in Kabul, targeting ethnic Hazaras. The attacks killed 80 people and 230 others were wounded.

On July 9, 2016, during counter-terrorism raids in Afghanistan, 10 militants associated with the Taliban and 3 members of the Afghan National Security forces were killed. In Kandahar and Paktia, 3 children were killed and 6 others were injured when their vehicle detonated an IED. Authorities suspect the Taliban was responsible for the attack.

On July 2, 2016, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle in Jalalabad killed 2 people and injured 18 others. Authorities suspect the Taliban was responsible for the attack.

On May 30, 2016, the Taliban executed at least 17 people after kidnapping around 220 people on buses and in cars at a fake checkpoint on the Kunduz-Takhar highway. Six people were killed by Afghan forces when the attempted to flee the scene. Around 20 hostages have been moved to Char Dara District.

On May 20, 2016, eleven members of a family were killed when their car hit a roadside mine in northern Afghanistan. Five children, two women and four men were killed, and three other children were injured in the explosion.

On April 11, 2016, a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle rammed a bus carrying new Army recruits and detonated explosives, killing 12 army recruits and wounding another 38.

Clements offers Overseas Car Insurance, which includes Physical Damage, Third Party Liability, and Excess Liability coverage. With flexible deductible options and fast claims processing, your policy will provide coverage for your vehicle fleet whether it’s on the road, parked or transported abroad.

An optional Political Violence extension is also recommended, which broadens the coverage to include strikes, riots, malicious damage, sabotage, war, terrorism or civil unrest.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Afghanistan..

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

Afghanistan poses a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping. Threats occur on a daily basis, with targets including armed forces, civilians, and those working in politics, humanitarian and reconstruction industries. Suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, kidnappings, robberies, and violent crimes are widespread in Afghanistan.  

On October 31, 2016 the Islamic State killed and injured several tribe elders in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The suicide bomb attack killed the leaders after ISIS leaders accused them of apostasy from Islam.

On October 30, 2016 the Taliban carried out a terrorist attack in the Baghlan Province of Afghanistan. In the attack, seven people were killed and another person was injured when mortar hit a residential house.

On October 26, 2016 officials in Afghanistan reported that 30 civilians had been abducted and subsequently killed by the Islamic State in the Ghor province.

On October 22, 2016 a roadside bomb exploded and killed 3 civilians and injured 3 others in the northern Afghanistan province of Jauzjan. Authorities attribute the attack to the Taliban “enemies of peace.”

On October 12, 2016 the Islamic State carried out a bombing in the city of Balkh that targeted a Shia mosque. Authorities claim this is the second attack in 24 hours targeting the Shia Muslim minority. At least 14 people were killed and 24 others were wounded.

On October 11, 2016 at least 14 people were killed in an attack on a Shiite mosque in Kabul. Thirty-six others were wounded according the Afghanistan Ministry of the Interior.

On October 9, 2016 the Afghan Defense ministry reported that a military helicopter was shot down in the Dand-e-Ghori district of Afghanistan. All eight of the passengers and pilots were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility even as a military spokesperson attributed the crash to technical malfunctions.

On October 8, 2016 two members of the United States armed forces were injured by a blast from an ISIS roadside bomb in the Chaparhar district of Afghanistan.

On October 6, 2016 Taliban gunmen killed six civilians in the city of Darzab, Afghanistan. The victims were internally displaced due to the ongoing conflict in the country.

On October 5, 2016 public health officials reported that 20 people were killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a minibus in Kabul, Afghanistan. No claims or attributions have been made.

On October 3, 2016 the Taliban carried out an attack in the Darzab district targeting civilians with IEDs. Six people were killed and 40 others were wounded in the bombing.

On September 27, 2016, two soldiers with Taliban links attacked and killed 12 fellow soldiers in an insider attack in Kunduz.

On September 17, 2016, four people were killed in a bombing in Kapisa province. Five others were wounded in the roadside attack targeting a former inspector general.

On September 14, 2016, a roadside explosion killed two Afghan National Army soldiers and wounded one other. Officials said the attack occurred in the Faryab province. In a separate incident, one person was killed and three others wounded in an attack on a police vehicle in Pajwok.

On September 11, 2016, a roadside bomb placed by the Taliban killed a senior police commander in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

On September 5, 2016, a series of three explosions, including suicide operations, in Kabul killed at least 59 people and wounded 91 others.

On September 1, 2016, a bomb explosion in Logar Province killed two people in front of the governor’s office. Spokespeople for the provincial governor attributed the attack to the Taliban.

On June 30, 2016, at least 40 people were killed and 50 were injured after two Taliban suicide bombers attacked police cadets returning from a graduation ceremony outside of the capital Kabul.

On June 20, 2016, at least 14 Afghan and Nepali security contractors were killed and 8 were injured when a suicide bomber detonated outside the minibus they were in. The people killed were security guards at the Canadian embassy, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the killings.

On June 8, 2016, 12 hostages were executed, and 42 more people were kidnapped. Four more people were also killed during the new kidnappings.

On June 5, 2016, three Taliban gunmen stormed a courthouse, killing a chief prosecutor and at least 9 others, injuring 23. The three assailants were eventually killed by security forces. This is another in a series of attacks on judicial employees in Afghanistan.

On June 1, 2016, the Taliban stormed a court building, killing 9 and injuring 13. A firefight broke out between them and the police, killing four of the attackers.

On April 19, 2016, a Taliban suicide bomb and gun assault on a government security building during morning rush hour in central Kabul killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 320, in the most deadly single attack in the Afghan capital since 2011.

On February 1, 2016, a suicide bomber blew himself within a queue at the entrance of the headquarters of the Afghan National Civil Order Police in Kabul. The blast killed at least 20 people and another 29 were injured. Taliban claimed responsibility.

On December 8, 2015 in Kandahar, several suicide bombers penetrated the security of a Kandahar Airfield, barricading themselves into an old school building that now contains shops and battled with Afghan soldiers for few hours. The Afghan defense ministry said 50 civilians and members of the security forces had been killed, along with 11 Taliban. A further 35 people were injured, it said. Taliban claimed responsibility.

On September 28, 2015, the Taliban seized control over Kunduz, a northern city in Afghanistan. It is the first major city seized by the Taliban in over a decade. On September 29th 2015, however, Afghan forces retook the city with airstrike support from the U.S.

In the midst of a series of suicide bombings across the country, one incident on August 7, 2015 claimed the lives of more than 50 people and injured more than 500 others outside a local police academy in Kabul. No group has claimed responsibility, but the Taliban is suspected. 

On July 29, 2015, the intelligence agency in Afghanistan announced that the founder and leader of the Taliban, Mullah Muhammad Omar, died in 2013. This is not the first report of his death, and he has not been seen in public for several years. The Taliban has yet to confirm his death, and threats from the terrorist group remain a high risk in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. 

In March 2014, a suicide bomber and three assailants attacked the compound of an international NGO, resulting in 2 deaths and injuring 10 others. The following month in April, an Afghan guard at Cure Hospital murdered three U.S. docotors while a U.S. doctor and nurse were injured.  In July 2014, a suicide bomber attacked a U.S. base near the Kabul International Airport, killing six guards and wounding ten others. 

Afghan insurgent forces are currently fighting against both the Afghan government and the International Security Assistance Force. This insurgency is often strongly opposed to Western interests, which could make many foreigners ideal targets. In April 2012, the British Embassy in Kabul was attacked, and the British Council was attacked in 2011. Incidents of terrorism are also common along the Jalalabad Road, the airport road and the Wardak road.

To protect yourself from terrorism, a Political Violence Insurance policy from Clements offers the right coverage against the risks of civil unrest, war, riots, looting and acts of terrorism.

There is also a high risk of kidnapping in Afghanistan. More than 100 Westerners have been kidnapped in the country over the past 10 years. Badakhshan, Bamyan, Kunar, Kunduz and the Pakistan border have had numerous incidents, although the threat isn't limited to those regions. 

On August 16, 2014, the International Committee of the Red Cross stated that armed militants in Afghanistan had kidnapped five of the aid organization's local workers, leading to a comprehensive search process. This incident is only one in a string of recent kidnappings in the Middle East. Reuters mentioned that only a few days earlier, the Taliban targeted 13 people who were clearing mines in the central part of the country.

In order to mitigate the risk of tumultuous activities, Clements' Kidnap and Ransom Insurance policy ensures financial assistance following a kidnapping, such as independent investigations, negotiations, arrangement and delivery of funds.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Afghanistan..

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, U.S. Dept of State, and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions