Mercy Corps has been working in Afghanistan since 1986. Decades of ongoing conflict, political instability, drought and economic chaos have left Afghanistan one of the world’s poorest and unstable nations. Eighty-five percent of the population relies on agriculture and natural resource-based livelihoods, leaving them vulnerable in a precarious economy.
Due to a worsening economy and a growing youth population, many people are unable to find suitable work. Currently, over 70% of the population is under the age of 30, and 400,000 young people reach working age yearly — there are not enough jobs available to meet their employment needs.
Climate change and challenges in managing natural resources have increased conflict in recent years. Approximately 75% of Afghans are at risk of their land becoming desert, particularly in rural areas.
- Agricultural Development: Increasing farmers' production through training, infrastructure improvements and links to local and global markets.
- Youth Programs: Providing young people with vocational training and support to start small businesses.
- Environment: Addressing natural resource depletion by educating farmers and government officials about sustainable water management.
- Renewable Energy Installing solar systems in community spaces to support economic growth and better access to social services, like schools and health clinics.
- Women & Gender: Helping women learn job skills and start small businesses.
In Uruzgan, a destitute province in southern Afghanistan, the local people define "rich" as "possessing a two-months supply of food." The worst drought in living memory and 22 years of ongoing war has left this region in ruins.
Afghanistan: The Women of the Katchi Abadis
Tucked into the dark and dirty corners of Quetta - the capital of Pakistan's poorest province, Balochistan - are hints of a refugee tragedy that has received little notice and even less assistance: The plight of the urban Afghan refugee.
Afghanistan: Lending Assistance to Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Strengthening Education in Afghanistan
Afghanistan: A Class Project Worthy of High Marks
This is one class assignment that the students in Mr. McElroy's third-grade class at Alameda Elementary School in Portland, Oregon would not mind repeating.
Afghanistan: Overcoming Ethnic Divisions to Deliver Aid
Afghanistan: A Man and A Country, Woven Together
James Opie squats down and delicately runs his hands over a small square Afghan rug lying on the floor of his office in a warehouse in Portland, Oregon. His fingers trace its elaborate spiral patterns with a familiarity that suggests that they had followed a similar path many times before.
Afghanistan: Blind Chickens and Social Animals
Blind Chickens and Social Animals: Creating Spaces for Afghan Women's Narratives under the Taliban, by Anna M. Pont Retail Price: $15.00
Afghanistan: Three strikes, but not out
When Taj Mohammad graduated from Kabul University Law School 12 years ago he had a different idea of how his life would be today. A barrister by training, Mr. Mohammad lives with his wife, Nasreen, and six children in a tent provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Afghanistan: Returning to the ruins of Dehwarian
As I approached Dehwairan there was a crowd of men gathered on a hillside. They were exhuming mass graves left behind from the Taliban, hoping to find family members that were missing after the war. Ghosts passed by riding on donkeys.