Some $150 billion in nonmilitary U.S. aid flowed into Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020, plus billions more from its allies and international organizations.
For those two decades, Afghanistan's economic development aid largely funded education, health care, governance reforms and infrastructure — including schools, hospitals, roads, dams and other major construction projects.
One notable result in terms of education was that far more students were enrolled in school. The number of students jumped from 900,000 in 2001 to more than 9.5 million in 2020. Foreign aid helped build about 20,000 elementary schools, and the number of universities grew sharply as well. The number of Afghans enrolled in higher education programs soared from 7,000 in 2001 to about 200,000 in 2019. There were no female college students in 2001, but there were 54,861 in 2019.
The share of girls among all students reached 39 percent in 2020, versus only an estimated 5,000 in 2001.
Likewise, aid increased access to health care for most of the population. Life expectancy rose over the two decades by about a decade, to 64.8 years in 2019, according to the World Bank.
Afghanistan also made progress in terms of governance reform, with the adoption of a new constitution in 2004 that established a framework for liberal democratic governance and protecting human rights. It held four presidential and provincial council elections and three parliamentary elections.
The country also adopted hundreds of new laws and regulations regarding education, health, insurance, budgeting, mining, women rights and land titling.
International aid helped construct and pave thousands of miles of roads and streets, either rehabilitated or built from scratch.
Other infrastructure projects included hydroelectric dams and solar power plants to generate electricity, bridges and irrigation and drinking water projects.