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: 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.
Afghanistan: Rehabilitation Program improving lives of disabled Afghans
For Afghan families living in the refugee villages in Baluchistan Province, Pakistan, the challenges they face each day are enormous. This is especially true for those who are disabled, as well as for those who must care for disabled relatives, children and friends.
Afghanistan: “We were born from this ground and we are not leaving”
KANDAHAR CITY, Afghanistan - This week the markets and bazaars of Kandahar are open and there appears to be a feeling of hope. The dusty streets are congested with motorized rickshaws, pick-up trucks and old Russian made four-wheelers.
Afghanistan: Needs remain great in southern Afghanistan
The situation in Kandahar, Afghanistan is both hopeful and dire.
Afghanistan: Refugee mom: 'We came here to save our lives'
QUETTA, Pakistan - Taghnesa, 40, fled her village in the northern Afghanistan province of Kunduz nearly three months ago when the fighting between Northern Alliance troops and the Taliban escalated.
Afghanistan: Mercy Corps launches campaign for Afghan children
Mercy Corps is responding to the urgent needs in Afghanistan, launching an unprecedented $5 million campaign to provide lifesaving aid to children. With the arrival of winter, hunger and hardship increase dramatically, further compounding the difficulties faced by Afghan families.
Afghanistan: Margaret Larson reports from Pakistan refugee camp
CHAMAN, PAKISTAN, Dec. 10 - I've been working directly at the border, near Chaman, Pakistan and it has been amazing.
Afghanistan: Afghan refugees continue to seek shelter in Pakistan
A recent stream of Afghan refugees crossing the border into Pakistan has sped up the transfer of refugee families from a temporary refugee camp to a more permanent camp at Roghani near the Chaman border crossing.
Afghanistan: Mercy Corps to assist additional 10,000 Afghan families
Mercy Corps has received a $2 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide emergency support to drought and conflict-affected families in southern Afghanistan.