At program preparation, Afghanistan had one of the lowest electrification levels and per capita electricity consumption in the world. In 2008, only about 9% of the population had access to intermittent public electricity, and per capita electricity consumption was as low as 21 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. Cities such as Kabul received electricity only 2–3 hours a day.
After 22 years of conflict and insurgency, aggravated by critical deficits in power infrastructure investment and maintenance, Afghanistan had one of the lowest electrification rates in the world. In 2003, less than 5% of the country’s population had access to grid power, and per capita annual energy consumption stood at 120 kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Afghanistan’s power generation, transmission, and distribution systems had been severely damaged by years of conflict, and by 2006, there was almost no transmission grid and generation was limited. The lack of generation capacity led to widespread load shedding throughout the country, with supply available for only a few hours a day.