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: Continued Insecurity in Southern Afghanistan Causes Concern
Mercy Corps and other aid organizations, facing attacks and threats from resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida forces, are retreating from areas of Afghanistan where some have worked for 16 years.
Afghanistan: Curing the blindness of Afghanistan's illiteracy
"He walked into my office last year in April and told me, to my surprise, that he was quitting even though his contract was not about to end," remembers Joerg Denker, Senior Program Manager for Mercy Corps in North Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: Finding a Common Ground in Kabul
Noorya and Delary don't have much in common. They live in the same sub-district of Kabul but they had never met or seen each other until they registered for work with Mercy Corps.
Afghanistan: Rubina's Story of Friendship and Hope
Afghanistan: Aid Groups Raise Concerns on Use of Coalition Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan
In Kabul, late November 2002, the U.S.-led Coalition Forces in Afghanistan first presented to the international humanitarian community their new concept for deploying "Joint Regional Teams," now relabeled Provincial Reconstruction Teams, or PRTs.
Afghanistan: Civil Society in Afghanistan: A Framework for Long-term Impact
Afghanistan: A Difficult Balance: Building Local Capacity in Southern Afghanistan
Afghanistan: New Beginnings in Northern Afghanistan
"I want to spend a little and do big things," says Dr. Mohammad Nasser Foushanji, Mercy Corps' Finance Manager and Liaison Officer for Local Government in northern Afghanistan. Not a surprising statement coming from a man who has already done many very big things in his life.
Afghanistan: Paving the Way to Peace and Prosperity in Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Signs of Hope in Afghanistan