Afghanistan | ActionAid UK


Since 2002, we’ve been in Afghanistan supporting women to claim their rights and helping children go to school.

Why we work in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world. Natural disasters like recurring droughts, floods and punishing winters mean that life is very tough here.

On top of this, years of war and conflict have left millions of people struggling to survive. One third of the population lives below the poverty line. Violence and the fear of violence is rife.

  • 50
    Over 50% of children under 5 years old are chronically malnourished.
  • 87
    87% of women in Afghanistan have experienced domestic abuse.
  • 90
    9 out of 10 girls over the age of 15 can’t read or write.

Although the lives of Afghan women and girls have improved since the fall of the Taliban, women and girls still face sexual harassment and rape, physical violence, and early forced marriage in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas. They even face harsh restrictions and violence if they try to work outside the home.


Four-year-old Freshta (left) is an ActionAid sponsored child. Her family are one of hundreds of families living in caves up in the mountains to avoid the Taliban

Photo: Lorenzo Tugnoli/ActionAid

What we do in Afghanistan

We’ve helped to set up discussion groups where local facilitators help other women to understand and practise their rights. We train the facilitators to teach women in their communities vital skills like reading and writing — helping them to take control of their own lives.

Through local partners, we protect children across all five provinces of Afghanistan, focusing on education and play for children affected by conflict — including ex-child soldiers traumatised by war.

We work with schools, education departments and community groups to promote the importance of education for children — especially girls, because they’re often the ones who miss out on going to or finishing school. We run special courses to help more girls catch up on their studies, finish secondary school and enrol into higher education.

How we’re changing lives for good in Afghanistan

We’ve helped 100,000 people in Afghanistan across five provinces: Bamyan, Balkh, Hirat, Jawjan and Kabul.

You may also be interested in…

We work across Africa, Asia and Latin America, every day, all year round.

Read our latest stories from the girls, projects and communities we work with.

Find out how you can support a child, and their community, through child sponsorship.


Photos: William Davies/ActionAid, Lorenzo Tugnoli/ActionAid