As of April 2021 (until the last active offensive of the Taliban militants), the war in Afghanistan claimed the lives of over 71,000 civilians as the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs reported.
“About 241,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zone since 2001. More than 71,000 of those killed have been civilians,” the researchers noted.
Even without battle actions during this 20-year war, the unexploded ordnance and landmines from previous wars continue to kill, injure, and maim civilians. Fields, roads, and school buildings are contaminated by ordnance, which often harms children as they go about chores like gathering wood.
The previous wars and civilian conflicts in the country made the Afghan society extremely vulnerable to the consequences of the current war. These consequences include elevated rate of incidence due to the lack of clear freshwater, malnutrition, and decrease of access to medical aid – poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation, absence of access to the medical aid, environmental degradation and they enhanced during the current war.
The war also inflicted invisible wounds. In 2009, the Afghan Ministry of Health reported that two-thirds of Afghan people suffer from mental diseases.
On August 15, the Taliban militants seized Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that he had left the country to avoid bloodshed as the Taliban entered the capital Kabul.