Afghanaid is an international charity that operates only in Afghanistan. We work alongside Afghans in the most remote and marginalised areas of Afghanistan, to help them meet their survival and development needs.
RESUMING TENTATIVE OPERATIONS
Nuristan, 'The Country of Light', is a mountainous province in the north east of Afghanistan situated just to the south of Badakhshan and close to the border with Pakistan. It has a very distinctive and diverse cultural identity. It consists of a number of valleys, each with its own language, which makes communication between the valleys difficult. The area is further characterised by harsh terrain and extreme isolation, which made it one of the very last areas of Afghanistan to convert to Islam.
Since much of the province was originally heavily forested, Nuristan is well known for its traditions of woodworking. Nuristani women have unusually active roles in agriculture, whilst the men traditionally take care of livestock and make cheese.
There are few schools and health facilities. More than 52% of surveyed households say that health facilities are at least half a day's walk away, or there are no facilities at all. There is also very limited access to clean drinking water. The major agricultural constraint is the lack of cultivatable land.
Nuristan lies close to Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan. And parts of the province have been extremely insecure in recent years. Despite a number of interruptions, Afghanaid is one of the few NGO's to have maintained activities in the province. Afghanaid began work in Nuristan in 1999, when it introduced an intregrated rural development programme in the districts of Kamdesh and Bargi Matal. More recently, it has begun implementing the National Solidarity programme in the same districts.