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.
All stories about Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Rice, roads and little bit of hope
"It is an impressive sight," enthuses Engineer Saddiq of Mercy Corps' Taloqan office.
Afghanistan: A powerful partnership in northern Afghanistan
After six months of extreme challenges and rapidly changing circumstances, Mercy Corps, The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and World Vision International (WVI) are finishing a highly successful project in Northern Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: Giving back by going back
He comes from a place called Sheen Kallay, or green village, but after fours years of drought there are only small patches of green near the southern Afghanistan hometown of Dr. Mohammad Khan Kharoti.
Afghanistan: Hospital worker, staff provide lifesaving care in southern Afghanistan
Abdul Qayyoum took on the role of administrator of the Mercy Corps-run Hazarjuft Hospital in the southern Afghanistan Helmand province just three months after it opened its doors in 1999.
Afghanistan: Mercy Corps staff report "total devastation" in villages hit by quake
Mercy Corps staff in northern Afghanistan report widespread damage to homes and infrastructure in Nahrin and surrounding villages following severe earthquakes and continuing aftershocks that began on Monday. The number of injured is likely to rise as rescue teams reach outlying villages.
Afghanistan: Commentary: Don't miss opportunity to help Afghans' education
Being a refugee from Afghanistan has often gotten me attention. Since Sept. 11, the level of interest about my life and beliefs has risen exponentially. I am often asked to share my thoughts and experiences with others.
Afghanistan: From nomad to doctor
I was born to a nomadic family in Afghanistan. I did not have the opportunity to go school or Madrassa (religious school) when I was young. I was not taught how to read. No one in my family could read or write. We did not enjoy the basic right to literacy.
Afghanistan: Mercy Corps distributes school and hospital supplies in Kabul, Afghanistan
From the hands of students in Issaquah, Washington to desks of children in Kabul, Afghanistan, a Mercy Corps relief mission is helping to deliver much needed aid while also bringing people together.
Afghanistan: Kabul area health clinics in desperate need of rehabilitation
A Mercy Corps assessment team recently visited health clinics in the villages outside the Afghanistan capital, Kabul, and found health facilities lacking basic medicines and patients forced to wait on hallway floors because there were no beds.
Afghanistan: Mercy Corps Founder: There is no victory while millions suffer
Taliban and al-Qaida forces in Afghanistan appear, in large part, to be defeated. Their corpses litter the desolate landscape; their survivors are fleeing to their dark hideouts or are in detention.