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: Afghan Woman Selling to Women
Name: Aziza RajabiAge: 45 yearsLocation: Bagh-E-Zanana Women’s Market, Kabul (Afghanistan)
Afghanistan: The Wedding Singer
Name: Parviz SharifiAge: 25 yearsLocation: District 1, Kabul (Afghanistan)
Afghanistan: Hatching a New Business
Name: Fawzia Mohammad HazanAge: 35Location: District 7, Kabul (Afghanistan) Over the din of hundreds of cheeping little chicks, Fawzia explains the business plan for her newly launched chick farm.
Afghanistan: Bicycle Shop Owner Runs Brisk Business
Name: Obaidulhah HabbibullahAge: 48 yearsLocation: Charqala Wazirbad, District 10, Kabul (Afghanistan)
Afghanistan: A Beauty Shop of Her Own
Name: Lailuma Aslam ZadaAge: 30 yearsLocation: Bagh-E-Zanana, Kabul (Afghanistan)
Afghanistan: A Window Into Northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan: A Silver Lining in Northeastern Afghanistan
A Mercy Corps project that got off to a disappointing start in Kunduz Province finished with remarkable results.
Afghanistan: In Afghanistan, Mercy and Mayhem
A hellish predawn raid by truckloads of suspected Taliban gunmen took the life of a Mercy Corps veteran in Afghanistan in August. The violence didn't stop there. That wrenching episode was the second murder in a year, a horrible stretch for our relief workers.
Afghanistan: Optimism is High; But Afghans Fear The Window of Opportunity is Closing
Afghanistan: A Journey Through a World of Mercy
Afghanistan, especially northern Afghanistan, is by far the most exotic place I have ever seen.