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.
We work with rural communities to promote their economic, social and political rights, essentially helping poor Afghans to help themselves.
Where do we work?
Afghanaid works in three provinces - Badakhshan, Ghor and Samangan.
Our head office is located in Kabul, Afghanistan. We have 20 more programme offices across Samangan, Badakhshan and Ghor provinces and a small support office in the United Kingdom. We also implement projects through local partner organisations working in Kabul and Balkh province.
Through the Afghanistan Resilience Consortium we are lending additional support to international partners working in: Kabul, Bamyan, Balkh, Jawzjan and Sar-e-Pul.
We have chosen to create and build relationships in these provinces and recruit locally whenever we can.
Situated in the far northeastern corner of Afghanistan and sharing borders with Tajikistan, China and Pakistan, Badakhshan is a mountainous province with a harsh climate and limited arable land. It is an area steeped in abject poverty and according to the United Nations has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Crop production has progressed in recent years but can be further enhanced through improved technology and better water and forest conservation practices. Afghanaid works with communities to plan better ways to manage natural resources sustainably and with farmers to identify varieties of high value crops which may hold promise for those without access to irrigated land.
Afghanaid has been working in Badakhshan since 1990.
According to the UN, Afghanistan is one of the deepest rooted emergencies in the world. It faces enormous challenges such as repeat food crises resulting from natural disasters, prolonged conflict and weak institutions, with Ghor being one of the worst affected provinces.
Hemmed in by high mountains that straddle the middle of Afghanistan, Ghor is one of the most geographically inhospitable regions of the country. Many areas are inaccessible during the winter while others are many miles from market places. Much of the province is at such a high altitude that little can be grown by way of large scale crops. Many women have never had a piece of fruit pass their lips and their meals consist of bread, tea and occasionally, potatoes. Due to widespread malnutrition, most households have no choice but to resort to selling off livestock and valuable possessions, preventing them from overcoming poverty and rebuilding their lives. Even more concerning, some parents have no other option but to marry off their young daughters to obtain money to survive.
Afghanaid began work in Ghor in 2000, when it launched a rural development programme in Cheghcharan and neighbouring districts with support from the European Community. Ghor was chosen as it was a largely forgotten province with enormous needs. Afghanaid was on of the first NGOs to work there and has taken a leading role in campaigning for international support for the development of the province.
Samangan is located approximately two hundred and fifty kilometres north west of Kabul, straddling the main road between the capital and Mazar-i-Sharif. Whilst accessibility is relatively good and climatic extremes are less significant then elsewhere, the province suffers disproportionately from lack of access to water, often necessitating the drilling of deep wells, which bring further risks of water table depletion and increased soil salinity. The majority of people are Uzbeks with 90% of them employed in agriculture. Only 20% of the land is irrigated, while 80% is rain-fed. Almonds, walnuts and pistachios, the most marketable products in Samangan, are exported internationally. Livestock products are also an important source of income.
Afghanistan's 2003 National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) showed Samangan province to have one of the lowest levels of household access to safe drinking water (1%). 62% of households suffered from poor diets, while vulnerability to the incidence of shocks was the highest in Afghanistan. These shocks include drought, crop pests and livestock diseases.
Afghanaid has been working in Samangan since 2000 when it introduced a programme of integrated rural development in two central districts with support from the European Community.