The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is marked annually on 13th October to celebrate how people and communities across the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. 

The situation in Afghanistan

Despite being one of the world’s smallest contributors to greenhouse gases, the people of Afghanistan are acutely vulnerable to natural disasters, extreme weather and a changing climate. 

More than 80% of the population relies directly on natural resources to meet their daily needs, and after almost four decades of conflict, combined with wide-spread poverty and social economic pressures, such as migration and economic pressures, more and more Afghan families are forced to live in more disaster-prone locations, often with a degraded resource base.

              In Afghanistan, incidences of extreme weather such as avalanches are increasing.  

Afghanaid’s response

Earlier this year we successfully completed a major 4-year project, in which we’ve led the Afghanistan Resilience Consortium, comprised of Afghanaid, ActionAid, Concern Worldwide, Save the Children, and the United Nations Environment Programme, to address the root causes of Afghanistan’s vulnerability, help communities like Ali's adapt to the changing climate and strengthen their resilience to natural hazards.

Working in partnership to increase success

Together, we’ve worked to build resilience at every level:

  • We’ve increased the ability of government departments to adequately plan for and respond to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change across the country. 
  • We’ve strengthened the capacity of local institutions to support communities against the natural hazards they face.
  • We’ve established community-based disaster management committees in 705 communities and 254 school-based disaster management committees in 9 of the country’s most hazard-prone provinces - reaching more than three million vulnerable people. 

  Community based disaster risk reduction committee

Helping communities to build their own capacity

Crucially, we’ve built local capacity to ensure that, when we move on to help other communities, they are able to continue keeping themselves safe.

We provided committees like Ali's with practical knowledge, training and equipment such as first aid kits, shovels, megaphones, wheelbarrows to mount search and rescue operations, and seeds to replant destroyed crops.

Restoring natural resources

We’ve been supporting communities to reduce deforestation, as well as restore and conserve ecosystems and natural water supplies, so that they can continue to make improvements to their lives and contribute to the fight against climate change.

In doing so, we’ve successfully enabled communities to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other climate-related challenges. As a result, communities have become more resilient and are better equipped to drive their own progress forward.

How you can get involved

By working in partnership with local communities like Ali's, you can build their capacity to deliver long-term, lasting change for themselves, their families and beyond. "Thanks to Afghanaid, we have been able to improve our own lives and help others."  Read Ali's story >>