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: Hot as an anvil in Afghanistan
On previous visits to Afghanistan I have traveled to our programs in the southern provinces in Helmand and Kandahar, where Mercy Corps has operated for more than 20 years, as well as those in the north.
Afghanistan: Well worth the effort
For most of us, putting a meal on the table involves a trip to the store to purchase food and some time in the kitchen to prepare it.
Afghanistan: Renewing a family’s dream of land
Afghanistan: Optimism and Hope Takes Root
Afghanistan: Cooking Up Yogurt With Syeed
Afghanistan: Trial By Fire
Stepping into Nasrin's small bakery in the outskirts of Kabul, you can't help but notice the black. It covers all four walls from floor to ceiling and is caked into the platter-sized hole in the floor that is the oven.
Afghanistan: The Fruits of a New Beginning
The roads leading outside of Takhar are lined with 10-foot-tall walls, a long line of mud and rock that stretches on for at least five miles.
Afghanistan: Nurturing New Growth
Afghanistan: Supporting Themselves Through Agriculture
As Afghanistan struggles to recover from 30 years of conflict and the global food crisis, Mercy Corps – in continuous operation there since 1986 – is helping hardworking Afghans regain their ability to support their families with dignity.
Afghanistan: Running Water Uphill
Following Agha Mohammad up the steep slope behind his family farm is not an easy task. While the lean 25-year-old glided up the well-worn path, his hands locked calmly behind his back, I had to stop at least twice to catch my breath.