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The 2001 CIA World Factbook
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Kuwait Geography

Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates: 29 30 N, 45 45 E

Map references: Middle East

Area: total: 17,820 sq km

land: 17,820 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries: total: 464 km

border countries: Iraq 242 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km

Coastline: 499 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters

Terrain: flat to slightly undulating desert plain

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

highest point: unnamed location 306 m

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas

Land use: arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

permanent pastures: 8%

forests and woodland: 0%

other: 92% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April; they bring inordinate amounts of rain which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year, but are most common between March and August

Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification

Environment - international agreements: party to: Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping

Geography - note: strategic location at head of Persian Gulf



Kuwait People

Population: 2,041,961

note: includes 1,159,913 non-nationals (July 2001 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.76% (male 299,080; female 288,125)

15-64 years: 68.82% (male 897,839; female 507,527)

65 years and over: 2.42% (male 31,843; female 17,547) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.38% (2001 est.)

note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates

Birth rate: 21.91 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 2.45 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 14.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.77 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.81 male(s)/female

total population: 1.51 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 11.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.27 years

male: 75.42 years

female: 77.15 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.2 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.12% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA

Nationality: noun: Kuwaiti(s)

adjective: Kuwaiti

Ethnic groups: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%

Religions: Muslim 85% (Sunni 45%, Shi'a 40%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%

Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 78.6%

male: 82.2%

female: 74.9% (1995 est.)



Kuwait Government

Country name: conventional long form: State of Kuwait

conventional short form: Kuwait

local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt

local short form: Al Kuwayt

Government type: nominal constitutional monarchy

Capital: Kuwait

Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al 'Asimah, Al Jahra', Hawalli

Independence: 19 June 1961 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day, 25 February (1950)

Constitution: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962

Legal system: civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21

note: only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote; in 1996, naturalized citizens who do not meet the pre-1920 qualification but have been naturalized for 30 years were eligible to vote for the first time

Executive branch: chief of state: Amir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 31 December 1977)

head of government: Prime Minister and Crown Prince SAAD al-Abdallah al-Salim Al Sabah (since 8 February 1978); First Deputy Prime Minister SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 17 October 1992); Deputy Prime Ministers JABIR MUBARAK al-Hamud Al Sabah (since NA) and MUHAMMAD KHALID al-Hamed Al Sabah (since NA)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the monarch

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 3 July 1999 (next to be held NA 2003)

election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 50; note - all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly

Judicial branch: High Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: none; formation of political parties is illegal

Political pressure groups and leaders: several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular leftists and nationalists

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)

chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702

FAX: [1] (202) 966-0517

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador James A. LAROCCO

embassy: Bayan, near the Bayan palace, Kuwait City

mailing address: P. O. Box 77 Safat, 13001 Safat, Kuwait Unit 69000, APO AE 09880-9000

telephone: [965] 539-5307

FAX: [965] 538-0282

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side



Kuwait Economy

Economy - overview: Kuwait is a small, relatively open economy with proved crude oil reserves of about 94 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 90% of export revenues, and 75% of government income. Kuwait's climate limits agricultural development. Consequently, with the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported. Higher oil prices put the FY99/00 budget into a $2 billion surplus. The FY00/01 budget covers only nine months because of a change in the fiscal year. The budget for FY01/02, which begins 1 April, contains higher expenditures for salaries, construction, and other general categories. Kuwait continues its discussions with foreign oil companies to develop fields in the northern part of the country.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $29.3 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0%

industry: 55%

services: 45% (1996)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2000)

Labor force: 1.3 million (1998 est.)

note: 68% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate: 1.8% (official 1996 est.)

Budget: revenues: $11.5 billion

expenditures: $17.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY01/02)

Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing, construction materials

Industrial production growth rate: 1% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production: 31.567 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%

hydro: 0%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 29.357 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: practically no crops; fish

Exports: $23.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities: oil and refined products, fertilizers

Exports - partners: Japan 23%, US 12%, Singapore 8%, Netherlands 7% (1999)

Imports: $7.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities: food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing

Imports - partners: US 15%, Japan 10%, UK 7%, Germany 7% (1999)

Debt - external: $6.9 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $27.6 million (1995)

Currency: Kuwaiti dinar (KWD)

Currency code: KWD

Exchange rates: Kuwaiti dinars per US dollar - 0.3057 (January 2001), 0.3067 (2000), 0.3044 (1999), 0.3047 (1998), 0.3033 (1997), 0.2994 (1996)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



Kuwait Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 412,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 210,000 (1997)

Telephone system: general assessment: the quality of service is excellent

domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, open wire, and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones

international: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 6, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 1.175 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 13 (plus several satellite channels) (1997)

Televisions: 875,000 (1997)

Internet country code: .kw

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (2000)

Internet users: 100,000 (2000)



Kuwait Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 4,450 km

paved: 3,590 km

unpaved: 860 km (1999 est.)

Waterways: none

Pipelines: crude oil 877 km; petroleum products 40 km; natural gas 165 km

Ports and harbors: Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Kuwait, Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi, Mina' Su'ud

Merchant marine: total: 45 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,461,072 GRT/3,966,645 DWT

ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 6, container 6, liquefied gas 7, livestock carrier 5, petroleum tanker 20 (2000 est.)

Airports: 8 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 4

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)

Heliports: 3 (2000 est.)



Kuwait Military

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police Force, National Guard, Coast Guard

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 780,559 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 466,521 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 18,309 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1.9 billion (FY00/01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 8.7% (FY00/01)



Kuwait Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: in November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait which had been spelled out in Security Council Resolutions 687 (1991), 773 (1993), and 883 (1993); this formally ends earlier claims to Kuwait and to Bubiyan and Warbah islands

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@Kyrgyzstan



Kyrgyzstan Introduction

Background: A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864; it achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of democracy and political freedoms, inter-ethnic relations, and terrorism.



Kyrgyzstan Geography

Location: Central Asia, west of China

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 75 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

Area: total: 198,500 sq km

land: 191,300 sq km

water: 7,200 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than South Dakota

Land boundaries: total: 3,878 km

border countries: China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone

Terrain: peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Kara-Darya 132 m

highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m

Natural resources: abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc

Land use: arable land: 7%

permanent crops: 0%

permanent pastures: 44%

forests and woodland: 4%

other: 45% (1993 est.)

note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural growth walnut forest

Irrigated land: 9,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices

Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: landlocked



Kyrgyzstan People

Population: 4,753,003 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 35.03% (male 841,029; female 823,723)

15-64 years: 58.83% (male 1,369,842; female 1,426,522)

65 years and over: 6.14% (male 110,340; female 181,547) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.44% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 26.18 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 9.13 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 76.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 63.46 years

male: 59.2 years

female: 67.94 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.19 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.01% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: less than 100 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)

Nationality: noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)

adjective: Kyrgyzstani

Ethnic groups: Kirghiz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, other 11.8%

Religions: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%

Languages: Kirghiz (Kyrgyz) - official language, Russian - official language

note: in May 2000, the Kyrgyzstani legislature made Russian an official language, equal in status to Kirghiz

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97%

male: 99%

female: 96% (1989 est.)



Kyrgyzstan Government

Country name: conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic

conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan

local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy

local short form: none

former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type: republic

Capital: Bishkek

Administrative divisions: 7 oblastlar (singular - oblast) and 1 city* (singular - shaar); Batken Oblasty, Bishkek Shaary*, Chuy Oblasty (Bishkek), Jalal-Abad Oblasty, Naryn Oblasty, Osh Oblasty, Talas Oblasty, Ysyk-Kol Oblasty (Karakol)

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Independence: 31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 31 August (1991)

Constitution: adopted 5 May 1993; note - amendment proposed by President AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 10 February 1996 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Askar AKAYEV (since 28 October 1990)

head of government: Prime Minister Kurmanbek BAKIYEV (since 22 December 2000)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister

elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections last held 29 October 2000 (next to be held November or December 2005); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Askar AKAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Askar AKAYEV 74%, Omurbek TEKEBAYEV 14%, other candidates 12%; note - election marred by serious irregularities

Legislative branch: bicameral Supreme Council or Zhogorku Kenesh consists of the Assembly of People's Representatives (70 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Legislative Assembly (35 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Assembly of People's Representatives - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA February 2005); Legislative Assembly - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA February 2005)

election results: Assembly of People's Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; percent of vote by party - NA; and Legislative Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; note - total seats by party in the Supreme Council were as follows: Union of Democratic Forces 12, Communists 6, My Country Party of Action 4, independents 73, other 10

note: the legislature became bicameral for the 5 February 1995 elections; the 2000 election results include both the Assembly of People's Representatives and the Legislative Assembly

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed for 10-year terms by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the president); Constitutional Court; Higher Court of Arbitration

Political parties and leaders: Agrarian Labor Party of Kyrgyzstan [Uson S. SYDYKOV]; Agrarian Party of Kyrgyzstan [Arkin ALIYEV]; Ata-Meken Socialist Party or Fatherland [Onurbek TEKEBAYEV]; Banner National Revival Party or ASABA [Chaprashty BAZARBAY]; Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan or DDK [Jypar JEKSHEYEV]; Democratic Women's Party of Kyrgyzstan [T. A. SHAILIYEVA]; Dignity Party [Feliks KULOV]; Erkin Kyrgyzstan Progressive and Democratic Party [Tursunbay Bakir UULU]; Justice Party [Chingiz AYTMATOV]; Movement for the People's Salvation [Jumgalbek AMAMBAYEV]; Mutual Help Movement or Ashar [Jumagazy USUPOV]; My Country of Action [Almazbek ISMANKULOV]; National Unity Democratic Movement or DDNE [Yury RAZGULYAYEV]; Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan or KCP [Absamat M. MASALIYEV]; Party of the Veterans of the War in Afghanistan [leader NA]; Peasant Party [leader NA]; People's Party [Melis ESHIMKANOV]; Poor and Unprotected People's Party [Daniyar USENOV]; Republican Popular Party of Kyrgyzstan [J. SHARSHENALIYEV]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [J. IBRAMOV]; Union of Democratic Forces (composed of Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan or PSD [J. IBRAMOV], Economic Revival Party, and Birimdik Party

Political pressure groups and leaders: Council of Free Trade Unions; Kyrgyz Committee on Human Rights [Ramazan DYRYIDAYEV]; National Unity Democratic Movement; Union of Entrepreneurs

International organization participation: AsDB, CCC, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Bakyt ABDRISAYEV

chancery: 1732 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 338-5141

FAX: [1] (202) 338-5139

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador John M. O'KEEFE

embassy: 171 Prospect Mira, 720016 Bishkek

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [996] (312) 551-241, (517) 777-217

FAX: [996] (312) 551-264

Flag description: red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kirghiz tribes; on the obverse side the rays run counterclockwise, on the reverse, clockwise; in the center of the sun is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of the roof of the traditional Kirghiz yurt



Kyrgyzstan Economy

Economy - overview: Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products and exports. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union in carrying out market reforms. Following a successful stabilization program, which lowered inflation from 88% in 1994 to 15% for 1997, attention is turning toward stimulating growth. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe since the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995 production began to recover and exports began to increase. Pensioners, unemployed workers, and government workers with salary arrears continue to suffer. Foreign assistance played a substantial role in the country's economic turnaround in 1996-97. Growth was held down to 2.1% in 1998 largely because of the spillover from Russia's economic difficulties, but moved ahead to 3.6% in 1999 and an estimated 5.7% in 2000. The government has adopted a series of measures to combat such persistent problems as excessive external debt, inflation, and inadequate revenue collection.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $12.6 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.7% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,700 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 39%

industry: 22%

services: 39% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: 51% (1997 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 31.7% (1997)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18.7% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 1.7 million

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 6% (1998 est.)

Budget: revenues: $207.4 million

expenditures: $238.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Industries: small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals

Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2000 est.)



Electricity - production: 12.981 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 6.67%

hydro: 93.33%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 10.236 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 2.02 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 184 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool

Exports: $482 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities: cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, hydropower; machinery; shoes

Exports - partners: Germany 33%, Russia 16%, Kazakhstan 10%, Uzbekistan 10%, China 6% (1999)

Imports: $579 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities: oil and gas, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs

Imports - partners: Russia 18%, Kazakhstan 12%, US 9%, Germany 8%, Uzbekistan 8%, China (1999)

Debt - external: $1.4 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $329.4 million (1995)

Currency: Kyrgyzstani som (KGS)

Currency code: KGS

Exchange rates: soms per US dollar - 48.701 (January 2001), 47.704 (2000), 39.008 (1999), 20.838 (1998), 17.362 (1997), 12.810 (1996)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Kyrgyzstan Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 351,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system: general assessment: poorly developed; about 100,000 unsatisfied applications for household telephones

domestic: principally microwave radio relay; one cellular provider, probably limited to Bishkek region

international: connections with other CIS countries by landline or microwave radio relay and with other countries by leased connections with Moscow international gateway switch and by satellite; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik and 1 Intelsat; connected internationally by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line

Radio broadcast stations: AM 12 (plus 10 repeater stations), FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)

Radios: 520,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: NA (repeater stations throughout the country relay programs from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey) (1997)

Televisions: 210,000 (1997)

Internet country code: .kg

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Internet users: 10,000 (2000)



Kyrgyzstan Transportation

Railways: total: 370 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines

broad gauge: 370 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)

Highways: total: 18,500 km (including 140 km of expressways)

paved: 16,854 km (these roads are said to be hard-surfaced, and include, in addition to conventionally paved roads, some that are surfaced with gravel or other coarse aggregate, making them trafficable in all weather)

unpaved: 1,646 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1996)

Waterways: 600 km (1990)

Pipelines: natural gas 200 km

Ports and harbors: Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)

Airports: 50 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 4

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 46

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 32 (2000 est.)



Kyrgyzstan Military

Military branches: Army, Air and Air Defense, Security Forces, Border Troops

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,203,001 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 975,744 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 50,590 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $12 million (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1% (FY99)



Kyrgyzstan Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: territorial dispute with Tajikistan on southwestern boundary in Isfara Valley area; periodic target of Islamic insurgents from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan

Illicit drugs: limited illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Russia and Western Europe from Southwest Asia

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@Laos



Laos Introduction

Background: In 1975 the communist Pathet Lao took control of the government, ending a six-century-old monarchy. Initial closer ties to Vietnam and socialization were replaced with a gradual return to private enterprise, an easing of foreign investment laws, and the admission into ASEAN in 1997.



Laos Geography

Location: Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates: 18 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area: total: 236,800 sq km

land: 230,800 sq km

water: 6,000 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Utah

Land boundaries: total: 5,083 km

border countries: Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mekong River 70 m

highest point: Phou Bia 2,817 m

Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones

Land use: arable land: 3%

permanent crops: 0%

permanent pastures: 3%

forests and woodland: 54%

other: 40% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,250 sq km (1993 est.)

note: rainy season irrigation - 2,169 sq km; dry season irrigation - 750 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: floods, droughts, and blight

Environment - current issues: unexploded ordnance; deforestation; soil erosion; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: landlocked



Laos People

Population: 5,635,967 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 42.75% (male 1,212,577; female 1,196,795)

15-64 years: 53.94% (male 1,494,927; female 1,544,851)

65 years and over: 3.31% (male 85,632; female 101,185) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.48% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 37.84 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 13.02 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 92.89 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 53.48 years

male: 51.58 years

female: 55.44 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.12 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.05% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,400 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 130 (1999 est.)

Nationality: noun: Lao(s) or Laotian(s)

adjective: Lao or Laotian

Ethnic groups: Lao Loum (lowland) 68%, Lao Theung (upland) 22%, Lao Soung (highland) including the Hmong ("Meo") and the Yao (Mien) 9%, ethnic Vietnamese/Chinese 1%

Religions: Buddhist 60%, animist and other 40%

Languages: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 57%

male: 70%

female: 44% (1999 est.)



Laos Government

Country name: conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic

conventional short form: Laos

local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao

local short form: none

Government type: Communist state

Capital: Vientiane

Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural), 1 municipality* (kampheng nakhon, singular and plural), and 1 special zone** (khetphiset, singular and plural); Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan*, Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xaisomboun**, Xekong, Xiangkhoang

Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)

National holiday: Republic Day, 2 December (1975)

Constitution: promulgated 14 August 1991

Legal system: based on traditional customs, French legal norms and procedures, and Socialist practice

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Gen. KHAMTAI Siphandon (since 26 February 1998) and Vice President Lt. Gen. CHOUMMALI Saignason (since NA March 2001)

head of government: Prime Minister BOUNGNANG Volachit (since NA March 2001); Deputy Prime Ministers THONGLOUN Sisolit (since NA March 2001), SOMSAVAT Lengsavat (since 26 February 1998)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly

elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 21 December 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); prime minister appointed by the president with the approval of the National Assembly for a five-year term

election results: KHAMTAI Siphandon elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; note - by presidential decree, on 27 October 1997, the number of seats increased from 85 to 99)

elections: last held 21 December 1997 (next to be held NA 2002)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - LPRP or LPRP-approved (independent, non-party members) 99

Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court (the president of the People's Supreme Court is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee; the vice president of the People's Supreme Court and the judges are appointed by the National Assembly Standing Committee)

Political parties and leaders: Lao People's Revolutionary Party or LPRP [KHAMTAI Siphandon, party president]; other parties proscribed

Political pressure groups and leaders: noncommunist political groups proscribed; most opposition leaders fled the country in 1975

International organization participation: ACCT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador VANG Rattanavong

chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416

FAX: [1] (202) 332-4923

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affairs Karen Brevard STEWART

embassy: 19 Rue Bartholonie, B. P. 114, Vientiane

mailing address: American Embassy, Box V, APO AP 96546

telephone: [856] (21) 212581, 212582, 212585

FAX: [856] (21) 212584

Flag description: three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band



Laos Economy

Economy - overview: The government of Laos - one of the few remaining official communist states - began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986. The results, starting from an extremely low base, were striking - growth averaged 7% during 1988-97. Reform efforts subsequently slowed, and GDP growth dropped an average of 3 percentage points. Because Laos depends heavily on its trade with Thailand, it was damaged by the regional financial crisis beginning in 1997. Government mismanagement deepened the crisis, and from June 1997 to June 1999 the Lao kip lost 87% of its value. Laos' foreign exchange problems peaked in September 1999 when the kip fell from 3,500 kip to the dollar to 9,000 kip to the dollar in a matter of weeks. Now that the currency has stabilized, however, the government seems content to let the current situation persist, despite limited government revenue and foreign exchange reserves. A landlocked country with a primitive infrastructure, Laos has no railroads, a rudimentary road system, and limited external and internal telecommunications. Electricity is available in only a few urban areas. Subsistence agriculture accounts for half of GDP and provides 80% of total employment. For the foreseeable future the economy will continue to depend on aid from the IMF and other international sources; Japan is currently the largest bilateral aid donor; aid from the former USSR/Eastern Europe has been cut sharply.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $9 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 51%

industry: 22%

services: 27% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: 46.1% (1993 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 4.2%

highest 10%: 26.4% (1992)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 33% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 1 million - 1.5 million

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 80% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 5.7% (1997 est.)

Budget: revenues: $211 million

expenditures: $462 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY98/99 est.)

Industries: tin and gypsum mining, timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction, garments, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 792 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 2.78%

hydro: 97.22%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 173.6 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 705 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 142 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton; tea, peanuts, rice; water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry

Exports: $323 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities: wood products, garments, electricity, coffee, tin

Exports - partners: Vietnam, Thailand, Germany, France, Belgium

Imports: $540 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel

Imports - partners: Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, China, Singapore, Hong Kong

Debt - external: $2.46 billion (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $345 million (1999 est.)

Currency: kip (LAK)

Currency code: LAK

Exchange rates: kips per US dollar - 7,578.00 (December 2000), 7,102.03 (1999), 3,298.33 (1998), 1,259.98 (1997), 921.02 (1996)

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September



Laos Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 25,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 4,915 (1997)

Telephone system: general assessment: service to general public is poor but improving, with over 20,000 telephones currently in service and an additional 48,000 expected by 2001; the government relies on a radiotelephone network to communicate with remote areas

domestic: radiotelephone communications

international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 1, shortwave 4 (1998)

Radios: 730,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (1999)

Televisions: 52,000 (1997)

Internet country code: .la

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)

Internet users: 2,000 (2000)



Laos Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways: total: 14,000 km

paved: 3,360 km

unpaved: 10,640 km (1991)

Waterways: 4,587 km approximately

note: primarily Mekong and tributaries; 2,897 additional km are intermittently navigable by craft drawing less than 0.5 m

Pipelines: petroleum products 136 km

Ports and harbors: none

Merchant marine: total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,370 GRT/3,000 DWT

ships by type: cargo 1 (2000 est.)

Airports: 51 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 43

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 17

under 914 m: 25 (2000 est.)



Laos Military

Military branches: Lao People's Army (LPA; includes riverine element), Air Force, National Police Department

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,319,537 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 710,627 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 64,437 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $55 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.2% (FY96/97)



Laos Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: parts of the border with Thailand are indefinite

Illicit drugs: world's third-largest illicit opium producer (estimated cultivation in 1999 - 21,800 hectares, a 16% decrease over 1998; estimated potential production in 1999 - 140 metric tons, about the same as in 1998); potential heroin producer; transshipment point for heroin and methamphetamine produced in Burma; illicit producer of cannabis

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@Latvia



Latvia Introduction

Background: After a brief period of independence between the two World Wars, Latvia was annexed by the USSR in 1940. It reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 30% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia continues to revamp its economy for eventual integration into various Western European political and economic institutions.



Latvia Geography

Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania

Geographic coordinates: 57 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references: Europe

Area: total: 64,589 sq km

land: 64,589 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries: total: 1,150 km

border countries: Belarus 141 km, Estonia 339 km, Lithuania 453 km, Russia 217 km

Coastline: 531 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

Terrain: low plain

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m

highest point: Gaizinkalns 312 m

Natural resources: minimal; amber, peat, limestone, dolomite, hydropower, arable land

Land use: arable land: 27%

permanent crops: 0%

permanent pastures: 13%

forests and woodland: 46%

other: 14% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 160 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: air and water pollution because of a lack of waste conversion equipment; Gulf of Riga and Daugava River heavily polluted; contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals and petroleum products at military bases

Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol



Latvia People

Population: 2,385,231 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 16.55% (male 201,746; female 193,036)

15-64 years: 68.15% (male 776,509; female 848,908)

65 years and over: 15.3% (male 118,110; female 246,922) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.81% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 8.03 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 14.8 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female

total population: 0.85 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 15.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.7 years

male: 62.8 years

female: 74.9 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.15 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.11% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,250 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)

Nationality: noun: Latvian(s)

adjective: Latvian

Ethnic groups: Latvian 56.5%, Russian 30.4%, Byelorussian 4.3%, Ukrainian 2.8%, Polish 2.6%, other 3.4%

Religions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox

Languages: Latvian or Lettish (official), Lithuanian, Russian, other

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 100%

male: 100%

female: 99% (1989 est.)



Latvia Government

Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Latvia

conventional short form: Latvia

local long form: Latvijas Republika

local short form: Latvija

former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Riga

Administrative divisions: 26 counties (singular - rajons) and 7 municipalities*: Aizkraukles Rajons, Aluksnes Rajons, Balvu Rajons, Bauskas Rajons, Cesu Rajons, Daugavpils*, Daugavpils Rajons, Dobeles Rajons, Gulbenes Rajons, Jekabpils Rajons, Jelgava*, Jelgavas Rajons, Jurmala*, Kraslavas Rajons, Kuldigas Rajons, Leipaja*, Liepajas Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons, Preilu Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons, Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons

Independence: 18 November 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918); note - 18 November 1918 is the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 18 November 1991 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Constitution: the 1991 Constitutional Law which supplements the 1922 constitution, provides for basic rights and freedoms

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal for Latvian citizens

Executive branch: chief of state: President Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA (since 8 July 1999)

head of government: Prime Minister Andris BERZINS (since 5 May 2000)

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the Parliament

elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term; election last held 17 June 1999 (next to be held by NA June 2003); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA elected as a compromise candidate in second phase of balloting, second round (after five rounds in first phase failed); percent of parliamentary vote - Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA 53%, Valdis BIRKAVS 20%, Ingrida UDRE 9%

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 3 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2002)

election results: percent of vote by party - People's Party 21%, LC 18%, TSP 14%, TB/LNNK 14%, Social Democrats 13%, New Party 7%; seats by party - People's Party 24, LC 21, TB/LNNK 17, TSP 16, Social Democrats 14, New Party 8

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges' appointments are confirmed by Parliament)

Political parties and leaders: Anticommunist Union or PA [P. MUCENIEKS]; Christian Democrat Union or LKDS [Talavs JUNDZIS]; Christian People's Party or KTP [Uldis AUGSTKALNS]; Democratic Party "Saimnieks" or DPS [Ziedonis CEVERS, chairman]; For Fatherland and Freedom or TB [Maris GRINBLATS], merged with LNNK; For Human Rights in a United Latvia [Janis JURKANS], a coalition of the People's Harmony Party or TSP, the Latvian Socialist Party or LSP, and the Equal Rights Movement; Green Party or LZP [Olegs BATAREVSKI]; Latvian Liberal Party or LLP [J. DANOSS]; Latvian National Conservative Party or LNNK [Andrejs KRASTINS]; Latvian National Democratic Party or LNDP [A. MALINS]; Latvian Social-Democratic Workers Party (Social Democrats) or LSDWU [Juris BOJARS and Janis ADAMSONS, leaders]; Latvian Unity Party or LVP [Alberis KAULS]; Latvia's Way or LC [Andrei PANTELEJEVS]; New Christian Party [Ainars SLESERS]; New Faction [Ingrida UDRE]; "Our Land" or MZ [M. DAMBEKALNE]; Party of Russian Citizens or LKPP [V. SOROCHIN, V. IVANOV]; People's Party [Andris SKELE]; Political Union of Economists or TPA [Edvins KIDE]

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Aivis RONIS

chancery: 4325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

telephone: [1] (202) 726-8213, 8214

FAX: [1] (202) 726-6785

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador James H. HOLMES

embassy: Raina Boulevard 7, LV-1510, Riga

mailing address: American Embassy Riga, PSC 78, Box Riga, APO AE 09723

telephone: [371] 721-0005

FAX: [371] 782-0047

Flag description: three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon



Latvia Economy

Economy - overview: In 2000, Latvia's transitional economy recovered from the 1998 Russian financial crisis, largely due to the SKELE government's budget stringency and a gradual reorientation of exports toward EU countries, lessening Latvia's trade dependency on Russia. Latvia officially joined the World Trade Organization in February 1999 - the first Baltic state to join - and was invited at the Helsinki EU Summit in December 1999 to begin accession talks in early 2000. Unemployment fell to 7.8% in 2000, down from 9.6% in 1999, and 9.2% in 1998. Privatization of large state-owned utilities and the shipping industry faced more delays in 2000, and political instability will continue to delay completion of the privatization process over the next year. Latvia projects 6% GDP growth, 2.5%-3.0% inflation, and a 1.7% fiscal deficit in 2001. Preparing for EU membership over the next few years remains a top foreign policy goal.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $17.3 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,200 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5%

industry: 33%

services: 62% (1999)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 25.9% (1998)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (2000)

Labor force: 1.4 million (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 10%, industry 25%, services 65% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate: 7.8% (2000 est.)

Budget: revenues: $1.33 billion

expenditures: $1.27 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

Industries: buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles; note - dependent on imports for energy, raw materials, and intermediate products

Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production: 3.996 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 31.78%

hydro: 68.22%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 4.316 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 400 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 1 billion kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish

Exports: $2.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

Exports - commodities: wood and wood products, machinery and equipment, metals, textiles, foodstuffs

Exports - partners: Germany 16%, UK 11%, Sweden 11%, Russia 7% (1999)

Imports: $3.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels

Imports - partners: Russia 15%, Germany 10%, Finland 9%, Sweden 7% (1999)

Debt - external: $800 million (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $96.2 million (1995)

Currency: Latvian lat (LVL)

Currency code: LVL

Exchange rates: lati per US dollar - 0.614 (January 2001), 0.607 (2000), 0.585 (1999), 0.590 (1998), 0.581 (1997), 0.551 (1996)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Latvia Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 748,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 77,100 (1997)

Telephone system: general assessment: inadequate, but is being modernized to provide an international capability independent of the Moscow international switch; more facilities are being installed for individual use

domestic: expansion underway in intercity trunk line connections, rural exchanges, and mobile systems; still many unsatisfied subscriber applications

international: international connections are now available via cable and a satellite earth station at Riga, enabling direct connections for most calls (1998)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 56, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 1.76 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 44 (plus 31 repeaters) (1995)

Televisions: 1.22 million (1997)

Internet country code: .lv

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 42 (2000)

Internet users: 234,000 (2000)



Latvia Transportation

Railways: total: 2,412 km

broad gauge: 2,379 km 1.520-m gauge (271 km electrified) (1992)

narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (1994)

Highways: total: 59,178 km

paved: 22,843 km

unpaved: 36,335 km (1998 est.)

Waterways: 300 km (perennially navigable)

Pipelines: crude oil 750 km; refined products 780 km; natural gas 560 km (1992)

Ports and harbors: Daugavpils, Liepaja, Riga, Ventspils

Merchant marine: total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 27,984 GRT/29,978 DWT

ships by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 3 (2000 est.)

Airports: 25 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 13

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 4 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 12

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 7 (2000 est.)



Latvia Military

Military branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, Security Forces, Border Guard, Home Guard (Zemessardze)

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 590,784 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 463,944 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 19,114 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $60 million (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.9% (FY99)



Latvia Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: draft treaty delimiting the boundary with Russia has not been signed; has not ratified 1998 maritime boundary agreement with Lithuania (primary concern is oil exploration rights)

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from Central and Southwest Asia to Western Europe and Scandinavia and Latin American cocaine and some synthetics from Western Europe to CIS; limited production of illicit amphetamine, ephedrine, and ecstasy for export

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@Lebanon



Lebanon Introduction

Background: Lebanon has made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions and regaining its national sovereignty since 1991 and the end of the devastating 16-year civil war. Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese have established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater say in the political process while institutionalizing sectarian divisions in the government. Since the end of the war, the Lebanese have conducted several successful elections, most of the militias have been weakened or disbanded, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have extended central government authority over about two-thirds of the country. Hizballah, the radical Shi'a party, retains its weapons. Syria maintains about 25,000 troops in Lebanon based mainly in Beirut, North Lebanon, and the Bekaa Valley. Syria's troop deployment was legitimized by the Arab League during Lebanon's civil war and in the Ta'if Accord. Damascus justifies its continued military presence in Lebanon by citing the continued weakness of the LAF, Beirut's requests, and the failure of the Lebanese Government to implement all of the constitutional reforms in the Ta'if Accord. Israel's withdrawal from its security zone in southern Lebanon in May of 2000, however, has emboldened some Lebanese Christians and Druze to demand that Syria withdraw its forces as well.



Lebanon Geography

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria

Geographic coordinates: 33 50 N, 35 50 E

Map references: Middle East

Area: total: 10,400 sq km

land: 10,230 sq km

water: 170 sq km

Area - comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries: total: 454 km

border countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 km

Coastline: 225 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows

Terrain: narrow coastal plain; Al Biqa' (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

highest point: Qurnat as Sawda' 3,088 m

Natural resources: limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land

Land use: arable land: 18%

permanent crops: 9%

permanent pastures: 1%

forests and woodland: 8%

other: 64% (1996 est.)

Irrigated land: 860 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note: Nahr al Litani only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity



Lebanon People

Population: 3,627,774 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.57% (male 509,975; female 490,031)

15-64 years: 65.72% (male 1,136,995; female 1,247,184)

65 years and over: 6.71% (male 110,964; female 132,625) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.38% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 20.16 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 6.39 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 28.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.52 years

male: 69.13 years

female: 74.03 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.05 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.09% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA

Nationality: noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Lebanese

Ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

Religions: Muslim 70% (including Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 30% (including Orthodox Christian, Catholic, Protestant), Jewish NEGL%

Languages: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.4%

male: 90.8%

female: 82.2% (1997 est.)



Lebanon Government

Country name: conventional long form: Lebanese Republic

conventional short form: Lebanon

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah

local short form: Lubnan

Government type: republic

Capital: Beirut

Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Beyrouth, Ech Chimal, Ej Jnoub, El Bekaa, Jabal Loubnane

Independence: 22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

National holiday: Independence Day, 22 November (1943)

Constitution: 23 May 1926, amended a number of times, most recently Charter of Lebanese National Reconciliation (Taif Accord) of October 1989

Legal system: mixture of Ottoman law, canon law, Napoleonic code, and civil law; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at age 21 with elementary education

Executive branch: chief of state: President Emile LAHUD (since 24 November 1998)

head of government: Prime Minister Rafiq HARIRI (since 23 October 2000); Deputy Prime Minister Issam FARES (since 23 October 2000)

cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and members of the National Assembly; the current Cabinet was formed in 1998

elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a six-year term; election last held 15 October 1998 (next to be held NA 2004); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly; by custom, the president is a Maronite Christian, the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the legislature is a Shi'a Muslim

election results: Emile LAHUD elected president; National Assembly vote - 118 votes in favor, 0 against, 10 abstentions

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis Alnuwab (Arabic) or Assemblee Nationale (French) (128 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 27 August and 3 September 2000 (next to be held NA 2004)

election results: percent of vote by party - Muslim 57% (of which Sunni 25%, Sh'ite 25%, Druze 6%, Alawite less than 1%), Christian 43% (of which Maronite 23%); seats by party - Muslim 64 (of which Sunni 27, Sh'ite 27, Druze 8, Alawite 2), Christian 64 (of which Maronite 34)

Judicial branch: four Courts of Cassation (three courts for civil and commercial cases and one court for criminal cases); Constitutional Council (called for in Ta'if Accord - rules on constitutionality of laws); Supreme Council (hears charges against the president and prime minister as needed)

Political parties and leaders: political party activity is organized along largely sectarian lines; numerous political groupings exist, consisting of individual political figures and followers motivated by religious, clan, and economic considerations

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT, AFESD, AL, AMF, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Farid ABBOUD

chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300

FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324

consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador David M. SATTERFIELD

embassy: Antelias, Beirut

mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Antelias, Beirut; PSC 815, Box 2, FPO AE 09836-0002

telephone: [961] (4) 543600, 543600

FAX: [961] (4) 544136

Flag description: three horizontal bands of red (top), white (double width), and red with a green and brown cedar tree centered in the white band



Lebanon Economy

Economy - overview: The 1975-91 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. Peace enabled the central government to restore control in Beirut, begin collecting taxes, and regain access to key port and government facilities. Economic recovery was helped by a financially sound banking system and resilient small- and medium-scale manufacturers. Family remittances, banking services, manufactured and farm exports, and international aid provided the main sources of foreign exchange. Lebanon's economy has made impressive gains since the launch in 1993 of "Horizon 2000," the government's $20 billion reconstruction program. Real GDP grew 8% in 1994, 7% in 1995, 4% per year in 1996 and 1997 but slowed to 2% in 1998, -1% in 1999, and 1% in 2000. Annual inflation fell during the course of the 1990s from more than 100% to 0%, and foreign exchange reserves jumped from $1.4 billion to more than $6 billion. Burgeoning capital inflows have generated foreign payments surpluses, and the Lebanese pound has remained very stable for the past two years. Lebanon has rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure. Solidere, a $2-billion firm, has managed the reconstruction of Beirut's central business district; the stock market reopened in January 1996; and international banks and insurance companies are returning. The government nonetheless faces serious challenges in the economic arena. It has funded reconstruction by tapping foreign exchange reserves and by borrowing heavily - mostly from domestic banks. The newly re-installed HARIRI government's announced policies fail to address the ever-increasing budgetary deficits and national debt burden. The gap between rich and poor has widened in the 1990s, resulting in grassroots dissatisfaction over the skewed distribution of the reconstruction's benefits.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $18.2 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 12%

industry: 27%

services: 61% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: 28% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 1.3 million (1999 est.)

note: in addition, there are as many as 1 million foreign workers (1997 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: services NA%, industry NA%, agriculture NA%

Unemployment rate: 18% (1997 est.)

Budget: revenues: $3.31 billion

expenditures: $5.55 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries: banking; food processing; jewelry; cement; textiles; mineral and chemical products; wood and furniture products; oil refining; metal fabricating

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 7.748 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 91.29%

hydro: 8.71%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 7.86 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 654 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats

Exports: $700 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities: foodstuffs and tobacco, textiles, chemicals, precious stones, metal and metal products, electrical equipment and products, jewelry, paper and paper products

Exports - partners: UAE 9%, Saudi Arabia 8%, Syria 6%, US 6%, Kuwait 6%, France 5%, Belgium 5%, Jordan 4% (1999)

Imports: $6.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, textiles, metals, fuels, agricultural foods

Imports - partners: Italy 13%, France 11%, Germany 8%, US 7%, Switzerland 6%, Japan, UK, Syria (1999)

Debt - external: $9.6 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $3.5 billion (pledges 1997-2001)

Currency: Lebanese pound (LBP)

Currency code: LBP

Exchange rates: Lebanese pounds per US dollar - 1,507.5 (January 2001), 1,507.5 (2000), 1,507.8 (1999), 1,516.1 (1998), 1,539.5 (1997), 1,571.4 (1996)

Fiscal year: calendar year



Lebanon Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 700,000 (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 580,000 (1999)

Telephone system: general assessment: telecommunications system severely damaged by civil war; rebuilding well underway

domestic: primarily microwave radio relay and cable

international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (erratic operations); coaxial cable to Syria; microwave radio relay to Syria but inoperable beyond Syria to Jordan; 3 submarine coaxial cables

Radio broadcast stations: AM 20, FM 22, shortwave 4 (1998)

Radios: 2.85 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 15 (plus 5 repeaters) (1995)

Televisions: 1.18 million (1997)

Internet country code: .lb

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 22 (2000)

Internet users: 227,500 (2000)



Lebanon Transportation

Railways: total: 399 km (mostly unusable because of damage in civil war)

standard gauge: 317 km 1.435-m

narrow gauge: 82 km (1999)

Highways: total: 7,300 km

paved: 6,350 km

unpaved: 950 km (1999 est.)

Waterways: none

Pipelines: crude oil 72 km (none in operation)

Ports and harbors: Antilyas, Batroun, Beirut, Chekka, El Mina, Ez Zahrani, Jbail, Jounie, Naqoura, Sidon, Tripoli, Tyre

Merchant marine: total: 71 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 379,705 GRT/592,672 DWT

ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 42, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1, combination ore/oil 1, container 4, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2, vehicle carrier 3

note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Netherlands 1, Syria 1 (2000 est.)

Airports: 8 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 5

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)



Lebanon Military

Military branches: Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF; includes Army, Navy, and Air Force)

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 980,412 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 605,332 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $343 million (FY99/00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.8% (FY99/00)



Lebanon Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Syrian troops in northern, central, and eastern Lebanon since October 1976; Lebanese government claims Shab'a Farms area of Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as a part of Lebanon from which Hizballah conducts cross-border attacks

Illicit drugs: inconsequential producer of hashish; a Lebanese/Syrian eradication campaign started in the early 1990s has practically eliminated the opium and cannabis crops

======================================================================

@Lesotho



Lesotho Introduction

Background: Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after 23 years of military rule.



Lesotho Geography

Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa

Geographic coordinates: 29 30 S, 28 30 E

Map references: Africa

Area: total: 30,355 sq km

land: 30,355 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries: total: 909 km

border countries: South Africa 909 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Terrain: mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains

Elevation extremes: lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m

highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m

Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals

Land use: arable land: 11%

permanent crops: 0%

permanent pastures: 66%

forests and woodland: 0%

other: 23% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: periodic droughts

Environment - current issues: population pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, and soil exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project controls, stores, and redirects water to South Africa

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping

Geography - note: landlocked; surrounded by South Africa



Lesotho People

Population: 2,177,062

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2001 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 39.28% (male 430,147; female 424,994)

15-64 years: 56.03% (male 588,440; female 631,404)

65 years and over: 4.69% (male 43,033; female 59,044) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.49% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 31.24 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 15.7 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 82.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 48.84 years

male: 47.97 years

female: 49.74 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.08 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 23.57% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 240,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 16,000 (1999 est.)

Nationality: noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)

adjective: Basotho

Ethnic groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%,

Religions: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%

Languages: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 83%

male: 72%

female: 93% (1999 est.)



Lesotho Government

Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho

conventional short form: Lesotho

former: Basutoland

Government type: parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Capital: Maseru

Administrative divisions: 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohales Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka

Independence: 4 October 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 October (1966)

Constitution: 2 April 1993

Legal system: based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: King LETSIE III (since 7 February 1996); note - King LETSIE III formerly occupied the throne from November 1990 to February 1995, while his father was in exile

head of government: Prime Minister Pakalitha MOSISILI (since 23 May 1998)

cabinet: Cabinet

elections: none; according to the constitution, the leader of the majority party in the assembly automatically becomes prime minister; the monarch is hereditary, but, under the terms of the constitution which came into effect after the March 1993 election, the monarch is a "living symbol of national unity" with no executive or legislative powers; under traditional law the college of chiefs has the power to determine who is next in the line of succession, who shall serve as regent in the event that the successor is not of mature age, and may even depose the monarch

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (33 members - 22 principal chiefs and 11 other members appointed by the ruling party) and the Assembly (80 seats; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms); note - number of seats in the Assembly rose from 65 to 80 in the May 1998 election; on 28 February 2001, the Senate approved expansion of the Assembly by a further 50 seats in the next election, which may be held as early as January 2002

elections: last held 23 May 1998 (next to be held NA March 2001)

election results: percent of vote by party - LCD 60.7%, BNP 24.5%, other 14.8%; seats by party - LCD 79, BNP 1

note: results contested; opposition parties claimed the election was fraudulent and staged a coup; Southern African Development Community (SADC) forces intervened in September 1998 and restored order; the Interim Political Authority (IPA) was set up in December 1998 to create a new electoral system and conduct new elections.

Judicial branch: High Court (chief justice appointed by the monarch); Court of Appeal; Magistrate's Court; customary or traditional court

Political parties and leaders: Basotho Congress Party or BCP [Tseliso MAKHAKHE]; Basotho National Party or BNP [Maj. Gen. Justine Metsing LEKHANYA]; Lesotho Congress for Democracy or LCD [Phebe MOTEBANO, chairwoman; Dr. Pakalitha MOSISILI, leader] - the governing party; United Democratic Party or UDP [Charles MOFELI]; Marematlou Freedom Party or MFP and Setlamo Alliance [Vincent MALEBO]; Progressive National Party or PNP [Chief Peete Nkoebe PEETE]; Sefate Democratic Party or SDP [Bofihla NKUEBE]

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Lebohang Kenneth MOLEKO

chancery: 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 797-5533 through 5536

FAX: [1] (202) 234-6815

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Katherine H. PETERSON

embassy: 254 Kingsway, Maseru West (Consular Section)

mailing address: P. O. Box 333, Maseru 100, Lesotho

telephone: [266] 312666

FAX: [266] 310116

Flag description: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper half is white, bearing the brown silhouette of a large shield with crossed spear and club; the lower half is a diagonal blue band with a green triangle in the corner



Lesotho Economy

Economy - overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho's primary natural resource is water. Its economy is based on subsistence agriculture, livestock, and remittances from miners employed in South Africa. The number of such mineworkers has declined steadily over the past several years. A small manufacturing base depends largely on farm products that support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries. Agricultural products are exported primarily to South Africa. Proceeds from membership in a common customs union with South Africa form the majority of government revenue. Although drought has decreased agricultural activity over the past few years, completion of a major hydropower facility in January 1998 now permits the sale of water to South Africa, generating royalties for Lesotho. The pace of substantial privatization has increased in recent years. In December 1999, the government embarked on a nine-month IMF staff-monitored program aimed at structural adjustment and stabilization of macroeconomic fundamentals. The government is in the process of applying for a three-year successor program with the IMF under its Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.1 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,400 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 18%

industry: 38%

services: 44% (1999)

Population below poverty line: 49.2% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.9%

highest 10%: 43.4% (1986-87)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 700,000 economically active

Labor force - by occupation: 86% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa

Unemployment rate: 45% (2000 est.)

Budget: revenues: $76 million

expenditures: $80 million, including capital expenditures of $15 million (FY99/00 est.)

Industries: food, beverages, textiles, handicrafts; construction; tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 15.5% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 0 kWh; note - electricity supplied by South Africa (1999)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 0%

hydro: 0%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 55 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 55 million kWh

note: electricity supplied by South Africa (1999)

Agriculture - products: corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock

Exports: $175 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities: manufactures 75% (clothing, footwear, road vehicles), wool and mohair, food and live animals (1998)

Exports - partners: South African Customs Union 65%, North America 34% (1998)

Imports: $700 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities: food; building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products (1995)

Imports - partners: South African Customs Union 90%, Asia 7% (1998)

Debt - external: $720 million (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $123.7 million (1995)

Currency: loti (LSL); South African rand (ZAR)

Currency code: LSL; ZAR

Exchange rates: maloti per US dollar - 7.78307 (January 2001), 6.93983 (2000), 6.10948 (1999), 5.52828 (1998), 4.60796 (1997), 4.29935 (1996); note - the Lesotho loti is at par with the South African rand which is also legal tender; maloti is the plural form of loti

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March



Lesotho Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 20,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,262 (1996)

Telephone system: general assessment: rudimentary system

domestic: consists of a few landlines, a small microwave radio relay system, and a minor radiotelephone communication system

international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 104,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (2000)

Televisions: 54,000 (1997)

Internet country code: .ls

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)

Internet users: 1,000 (2000)



Lesotho Transportation

Railways: total: 2.6 km; note - owned by, operated by, and included in the statistics of South Africa

narrow gauge: 2.6 km 1.067-m gauge (1995)

Highways: total: 4,955 km

paved: 887 km

unpaved: 4,068 km (1996)

Waterways: none

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 29 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 4

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 25

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 21 (2000 est.)



Lesotho Military

Military branches: Lesotho Defense Force (LDF; includes Army and Air Wing), Royal Lesotho Mounted Police (RLMP)

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 515,464 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 277,369 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $34 million (1999)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Military - note: The Lesotho Government in 1999 began an open debate on the future structure, size, and role of the armed forces, especially considering the Lesotho Defense Force's (LDF) history of intervening in political affairs.



Lesotho Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

======================================================================

@Liberia



Liberia Introduction

Background: Seven years of civil strife were brought to a close in 1996 when free and open presidential and legislative elections were held. President TAYLOR now holds strong executive power with no real political opposition. The years of fighting coupled with the flight of most businesses have disrupted formal economic activity. A still unsettled domestic security situation has slowed the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country.



Liberia Geography

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone

Geographic coordinates: 6 30 N, 9 30 W

Map references: Africa

Area: total: 111,370 sq km

land: 96,320 sq km

water: 15,050 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries: total: 1,585 km

border countries: Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km

Coastline: 579 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 NM

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m

Natural resources: iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower

Land use: arable land: 1%

permanent crops: 3%

permanent pastures: 59%

forests and woodland: 18%

other: 19% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)

Environment - current issues: tropical rain forest subject to deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation



Liberia People

Population: 3,225,837 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.21% (male 698,178; female 695,599)

15-64 years: 53.34% (male 840,103; female 880,403)

65 years and over: 3.45% (male 56,073; female 55,481) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.92% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 46.55 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 16.36 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

note: by the end of 1999, all Liberian refugees, who had fled the domestic strife, were assumed to have returned

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 132.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 51.41 years

male: 49.96 years

female: 52.91 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.36 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.8% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 39,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 4,500 (1999 est.)

Nationality: noun: Liberian(s)

adjective: Liberian

Ethnic groups: indigenous African tribes 95% (including Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and Bella), Americo-Liberians 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the US who had been slaves), Congo People 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the Caribbean who had been slaves)

Religions: indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%

Languages: English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages, of which a few can be written and are used in correspondence

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 38.3%

male: 53.9%

female: 22.4% (1995 est.)

note: these figures are increasing because of the improving school system



Liberia Government

Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Liberia

conventional short form: Liberia

Government type: republic

Capital: Monrovia

Administrative divisions: 13 counties; Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, Sinoe

Independence: 26 July 1847

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 July (1847)

Constitution: 6 January 1986

Legal system: dual system of statutory law based on Anglo-American common law for the modern sector and customary law based on unwritten tribal practices for indigenous sector

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (since 2 August 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (since 2 August 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate

elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (renewable); election last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held NA July 2003)

election results: Charles Ghankay TAYLOR elected president; percent of vote - Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (NPP) 75.3%, Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF (UP) 9.6%, Alhaji KROMAH (ALCOP) 4%, other 11.1%

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (26 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve nine-year terms) and the House of Representatives (64 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held in NA 2006); House of Representatives - last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held in NA 2003)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPP 21, UP 3, ALCOP 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPP 49, UP 7, ALCOP 3, Alliance of Political Parties 2, UPP 2, LPP 1; note - the Alliance of Political Parties was a coalition of the LAP and the Liberia Unification Party or LUP

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: All Liberia Coalition Party or ALCOP [Lusinee KAMARA]; Liberian Action Party or LAP [Cletus WOTORSON]; Liberian National Union or LINU [Henry MONIBA, chairman]; Liberian People's Party or LPP [Togba-Nah TIPOTEH, chairman]; National Democratic Party of Liberia or NDPL [Isaac DAKINAH]; National Patriotic Party or NPP [Charles Ghankay TAYLOR] - governing party; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Chea CHEAPOO, chairman]; Reformation Alliance Party or RAP [Henry Boimah FAHNBULLEH, chairman]; True Whig Party or TWP [Rudolph SHERMAN, chairman]; United People's Party or UPP [Gabriel Baccus MATTHEWS, chairman]; Unity Party or UP [Charles Clarke]

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador William BULL

chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437

FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Bismarck MYRICK

embassy: 111 United Nations Drive, P. O. Box 10-0098, Mamba Point, Monrovia

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [231] 226-370 through 226-380

FAX: [231] 226-148

Flag description: 11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a white five-pointed star on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the design was based on the US flag



Liberia Economy

Economy - overview: A civil war in 1989-96 destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them. Some returned during 1997. Many will not return. Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, while local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope. The democratically elected government, installed in August 1997, inherited massive international debts and currently relies on revenues from its maritime registry to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings. The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depend on the implementation of sound macro- and micro-economic policies of the new government, including the encouragement of foreign investment. Recent growth has been from a low base, and continued growth will require major policy successes.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.35 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 15% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 60%

industry: 10%

services: 30% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line: 80%

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 70%, industry 8%, services 22% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 70%

Budget: revenues: $NA

expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: NA

Electricity - production: 432 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%

hydro: 0%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 401.8 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber

Exports: $55 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities: diamonds, iron ore, rubber, timber, coffee, cocoa

Exports - partners: Belgium 53%, Switzerland 9%, US 6%, France 4% (1999)

Imports: $170 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities: fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; rice and other foodstuffs

Imports - partners: South Korea 30%, Italy 24%, Japan 15%, Germany 9% (1999)

Debt - external: $3 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $200 million pledged (1998)

Currency: Liberian dollar (LRD)

Currency code: LRD

Exchange rates: Liberian dollars per US dollar - 39.8100 (December 2000), 41.0483 (2000), 41.9025 (1999), 41.5075 (1998), 1.0000 (officially fixed rate 1940-97); market exchange rate: Liberian dollars per US dollar - 40 (December 1998), 50 (October 1995)

note: until December 1997, rates were based on a fixed relationship with the US dollar; beginning in January 1998, rates are market determined

Fiscal year: calendar year



Liberia Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 6,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 0 (1995)

Telephone system: general assessment: telephone and telegraph service via microwave radio relay network; main center is Monrovia

domestic: NA

international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 6, shortwave 4 (1999)

Radios: 790,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (plus four low-power repeaters) (2000)

Televisions: 70,000 (1997)

Internet country code: .lr

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)

Internet users: 300 (2000)



Liberia Transportation

Railways: total: 490 km (328 km single track); note - three rail systems owned and operated by foreign steel and financial interests in conjunction with the Liberian Government; one of these, the Lamco Railroad, closed in 1989 after iron ore production ceased; the other two were shut down by the civil war; large sections of the rail lines have been dismantled; approximately 60 km of railroad track was exported for scrap

standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 145 km 1.067-m gauge

Highways: total: 10,600 km

paved: 657 km

unpaved: 9,943 km

note: (there is major deterioration on all highways due to heavy rains and lack of maintenance) (1996 est.)

Waterways: none

Ports and harbors: Buchanan, Greenville, Harper, Monrovia

Merchant marine: total: 1,478 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 49,456,361 GRT/76,620,648 DWT

ships by type: barge carrier 3, bulk 324, cargo 97, chemical tanker 163, combination bulk 20, combination ore/oil 38, container 245, liquefied gas 97, multi-functional large-load carrier 4, passenger 24, petroleum tanker 310, refrigerated cargo 74, roll on/roll off 19, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 12, vehicle carrier 45

note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Argentina 8, Australia 1, Ashmore and Cartier Islands 1, Austria 5, Bermuda 5, Belgium 5, Burma 1, Brazil 8, Canada 1, China 28, Chile 7, Costa Rica 8, Cyprus 27, Denmark 4, Ecuador 1, Germany 117, Greece 83, Hong Kong 54, Croatia 9, Indonesia 2, India 8, Israel 1, Italy 8, Japan 85, South Korea 8, Latvia 15, Monaco 28, Mexico 6, Malaysia 1, Nigeria 1, Netherlands 7, Norway 86, Netherlands Antilles 1, NZ 1, Poland 2, Portugal 2, Philippines 1, Russia 22, Saudi Arabia 20, South Africa 1, Slovenia 1, Singapore 30, Spain 1, Sweden 8, Switzerland 23, UAE 5, Taiwan 10, UK 15, US 85, Uruguay 1, Vietnam 1 (2000 est.)

Airports: 46 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 44

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 36 (2000 est.)



Liberia Military

Military branches: Army, Air Force, Navy

Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 715,753 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 385,460 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2% (FY98)



Liberia Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: large refugee population from civil war in Sierra Leone

Illicit drugs: increasingly a transshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets

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