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: Kabul: A City on the Move
Going about her daily business in the Afghanistan capital, Kabul, Anita Anastacio sees a city that is far different than the one she first encountered five years ago.
Afghanistan: Fighting Refugee Drug Abuse in Pakistan
Afghanistan: Building Institutions to Create Better Societies
Afghanistan: CHWs: A Foundation for Healthier Afghan Communities
Afghanistan: Orchards Promise the Fruit for Future Generations
Afghanistan: One Lucky Woman In Hazarjuft
Bakhtawar is sitting on a bed in the female in-patient ward of Hazarjuft Hospital in Helmand, Afghanistan. Her name means "lucky woman" but she has been anything but lucky when it comes to preganancy and health.
Afghanistan: Building a Community of Participation
"Self-sustaining" and "community empowerment" are two terms found in almost every humanitarian assistance plan. Overused and sometimes overlooked, they represent the cornerstone of long-term success.
Afghanistan: Harvesting A New Generation of Leaders
Afghanistan: Master Trainers
On the inhospitable border, nicknamed "No Man's Land", between Pakistan and Afghanistan, a husband and wife team is working to improve the lives of Afghan refugee families flowing to and from Pakistan. Parveen and Syed Safdar are Master Trainers for Mercy Corps.
Afghanistan: A Never-Ending Struggle
Physical disabilities are rampant among the refugees of Afghanistan. In the camps and villages are the stark visual reminders of the toll that war and lack of access to basic healthcare has taken on these people. Men, women and children are all victims of this tragedy.