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: Forsaking the Flower for a More Hopeful Future
As Afghanistan struggles to lift itself from decades of conflict and oppression, a flower threatens to keep its society down.
Afghanistan: A Day in the Life of an Aid Worker in Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Afghans Speak Out on Violence and Elections
"People have guns. Please take them away. They will kill people. They will rob people."
Afghanistan: Afghan Team Members Honored for Service
Afghanistan: Mercy Corps Calls on NATO to Improve Security in Afghanistan
On June 22, Mercy Corps and over fifty other international humanitarian aid, civil society and human rights organizations called on members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to strengthen security efforts in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: New Opportunities in a Fertile Land
In Helmand Province, opportunities for women are slim. Culturally-prescribed gender roles restrict their movement outside of their households and villages, limit their access to education and economic options and hinder their positive contributions to civil society at many levels.
Afghanistan: Lending a Hand and a Little Bit More
A long line of women extends down the staircase of the Ariana Financial Services Group (AFSG) office in Kabul. The women are eagerly waiting to collect their small business loans.
Afghanistan: A Flame of Hope
As Khadija Naziry darts from vats of melting wax to a large tray of metal candle molds, her pronounced limp almost goes unnoticed. Her energy and passion mask the past decades of hardship she suffered living in Kabul through wars, violence and oppression.
Afghanistan: A Blooming Business in Kabul
Name: Ahmad Shah RahimiAge: 25 yearsLocation: District 10, Kabul (Afghanistan) With the fall of the Taliban regime over two years ago, Ahmad’s flower business has begun to bloom.
Afghanistan: American-Style Baby Swings Sell Well in Afghanistan
Name: Najeeba HaidariAge: 36 yearsLocation: District 10, Kabul (Afghanistan)