Afghanistan

9.3m

people are in need of humanitarian assistance

18m+

people need safe sanitation, including access to clean water

9m

people lack sufficient access to health services

20%

of Afghan families (approx.) have a member with a disability

About Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a beautiful and geographically diverse nation. However it is currently in its 38th year of protracted conflict. This is fuelled by the presence of multiple armed opposition groups and regional instability. The country remains highly insecure and its capital, Kabul, is one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Afghanistan’s development has also been blighted by a host of other factors. These include endemic corruption, ineffective state institutions, the low status of women, low levels of education, poor healthcare, frequent natural disasters and difficult regional relationships. Together these issues have resulted in high levels of poverty and vulnerability.

In addition to all of this, an influx of refugees returning from Pakistan and Iran is exacerbating the nation’s troubles.

How we do it

WASH

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Livelihoods

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Psychosocial Support

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Disability

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Our Work in Afghanistan

Tearfund has supported humanitarian work in Afghanistan since 1971. We now work through five partner organisations in ten of the country’s 34 provinces. We support these partners in a variety of programmes including:

  • Women’s self-help groups – small-scale community savings schemes which also foster broader mutual support among members. They allow the poorest people in communities to save together and access small loans. These loans can finance anything from school fees to small-business start-ups.
  • Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS) training, which offers mothers a safer environment to give birth in and training in caring for their newborns, reducing infant mortality.
  • Educational support and advocacy for people with disabilities in Afghanistan. The aim is to establish a series of inclusive communities, where people with disabilities and able-bodied people can live together equally.
  • Livelihood support, ensuring people have the means to provide for themselves and their families.
  • Psychosocial support, helping people traumatised by the violence to recover their emotional, spiritual and interpersonal well-being.
  • Mental health support.
  • Clean water and proper sanitation provision, and hygiene training in communities.
  • Peacebuilding, integrated into our other work; this seeks out creative, non-violent ways to respond to conflict within communities.

ACHIEVEMENTS

More

children with disabilities at school. This is thanks to one of our partner's work to make Afghan education policy more inclusive.

20,000+

women empowered to provide for their families through the implementation of self-help groups – where members come together and save small amounts of money over time.

11,000

displaced families provided with a clean water supply in Mazar-i-Sharif.

More

counsellors trained and able to offer support. This is thanks to a Tearfund partner group helping shape the Afghan government’s new mental health strategy.

Pray for our work

  • Please pray for the safety and well-being of our partners’ staff, who serve the people of Afghanistan with true dedication and courage.
  • Violent incidents and terror attacks are still a frequent occurrence in Afghanistan; please pray for lasting peace and stability.
  • Please pray that, through our partners’ work, women and girls would be empowered within their communities, and that rates of gender-based violence would decrease significantly.
  • Pray that, through our livelihoods interventions, many rural communities would be pulled out of poverty to enjoy a greater quality of life.

Stories from Afghanistan

  • Fifty years fifty countries Afghanistan

    Tearfund has been working in Afghanistan since 1971. This is a country of majestic mountain ranges and magnificent lakes, but its beauty has been marred by decades of strife. Images of pain, poverty and a seemingly hopeless cycle of conflict are more often associated with this country.

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  • Close up of hand sewing using sewing machine

    Fearless

    When tragedy strikes her family, a young girl from Afghanistan has to leave home and take a job doing hard manual labour. When she is finally able to return, her family force her into marriage. These experiences leave her feeling helpless and afraid; yet the opportunity for restoration and redemption is closer than she thinks.

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  • Teacher with children

    Hear my prayer

    For decades schools in Afghanistan stood empty. Then, at the turn of the millennium, the Taliban rule collapsed. Aid poured into the country and schools reopened. But for Kalan, aged 16, from Kabul, and thousands like him, nothing changed. ‘I was born deaf,’ he says, ‘so I couldn’t go to school.’

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  • Unashamed

    Twenty-year-old Hamidullah* from Afghanistan is just like any other young man: he loves riding his bike, spending time with his friends and working part-time as a mechanic. However, just two years ago, doing these things often seemed impossible.

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Where we're working