ActionAid began operating in Afghanistan in 2002, joining the international effort to help people affected by war, drought and poverty. Recent progress towards political and economic stability has been made in Afghanistan, but the country remains extremely poor. In 2009 it was officially the world’s poorest country according to the UN Human Development Report.
Women's rights in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, a woman’s right to work, learn or even speak for herself is frequently denied, and violence is perpetuated under the guise of tradition. Last year we trained female paralegals to support women with legal and psychosocial advice, succeeding in bringing 480 cases of violence to justice – only eight cases had ever previously been reported.
Under Taliban rule, girls were forbidden to attend school. Last year ActionAid helped 90 girls from the Murdian district pass their final exams – a huge achievement in a region where previously no girl had ever attended school.
Child sponsorship in Afghanistan
Sponsor a child in AfghanistanJan Mohammad (10, pictured right) lives in Rabat village with his family. He goes to the Child Centre in his village that was established by ActionAid. Child Centres give children a place to play safely, take part in fun activities, and learn about their rights and the importance of education. He says that he now enjoys going to school and wants to become a teacher.
Sponsoring provides education for war-affected children and ex-child soldiers in the north and centre of the country, and for children in rural villages. We are developing youth clubs as a space where children can socialise and have fun.
Health and development in Afghanistan
Decades of conflict and prolonged drought have left Afghanistan’s poorest people vulnerable to hunger, disease and displacement. Most people lack sufficient clothing, housing and medical care, and seven million people are at risk of severe food shortages. Other challenges include a lack of land and marriage rights for women, poor infrastructure and a vast opium trade.
Livestock has been made accessible to many poor families in order to create a livelihood, and we have built wells to give 23,000 people access to clean water. We also provide emergency relief in the wake of natural disasters.
How you can help
When you sponsor a child in Afghanistan, you'll be providing the resources for real, long-term change. You'll get two letters a year from the child you sponsor, and updates from the country programme to tell you how the money you are spending is changing the community your child lives in.