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.
Afghanistan: Behind the camera: Chickens that change lives
A photographer in Afghanistan experiences first-hand the tension and risk women face as they try to earn a living and tell their story.
Afghanistan: Education against all odds: Job skills open up new world
Our INVEST vocational training program gives women in Helmand province an opportunity to go to school and earn an income for the first time in a generation. Meet Shamsiya, who is bravely seizing her brand new opportunities.
Afghanistan: International Women's Day: Working hard for our futures
While we at the Mercy Corps office in Kabul celebrate International Women’s Day, it remains a sad reality that much of the rest of Afghanistan is not.
Afghanistan: Building better lives in the midst of conflict
As the uncertain tensions and violence in Afghanistan continue, our predominantly Afghan team is working tirelessly to ensure that community needs are met.
Afghanistan: Young man learns sewing trade
Our INVEST program helps men — and now women, too — learn job skills that put them on a path toward economic independence.
Afghanistan: Winter in Afghanistan brings its own challenges
In freezing conditions, Afghanistan's most vulnerable are in need of water and warmth. As we help them cope with immediate needs, we're also building a stronger economy to help break the cycle of poverty.
Afghanistan: Setting a strong development agenda
Ten years after the international intervention in Afghanistan began and the Taliban regime fell, world leaders are this week gathering in Germany to discuss Afghanistan's future.
Afghanistan: Helmand-born, university-bound
I was at the Mercy Corps Vocational Training Centre this morning checking in with the team and catching up with some of the students and teachers.
Afghanistan: What it's like in Helmand
Helmand, where I’ve worked for the last two years, is certainly a fascinating place. It is a place where you can wake to yet another suicide bombing that rattles the windows and leaves you wondering who might have been the target this time.
Afghanistan: 'All roads lead to women'
This afternoon Gayle Tzemach Lemmon talked with Mercy Corps’ communications director Joy Portella and supporters from around the country and the world about the importance of investing in women -- a theme of her New York Times bestselling book, Th