Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 168th out of 189 countries on the global Human Development Index. Afghanistan has been ravaged by war and poverty for decades. The rugged mountainous landscape makes matters worse – the majority of Afghans work in agriculture, but only 12% of the land is farmable.
With one in seven children dying before the age of five, landmines littering the land and the harsh terrain, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous places to live and is desperately in need of our help.
Islamic Relief started working in Afghanistan in 1992 as a response to the ongoing conflict. It can be extremely dangerous working in the war-torn country, but when offered the opportunity to leave during the latest conflict our staff bravely and unanimously voted to stay. They are determined to improve the lives of millions in need.
We work in a number of areas ranging from food provision (working with the World Food Programme) and water and sanitation, to education and orphan support as well as Ramadan and Qurbani distributions.
We provide emergency assistance to refugees, especially during the bitter winters, and work towards giving Afghans a chance at a better future through education and livelihoods support. For example, a high number of families are headed by women due to the war therefore one of our projects helps women set up weaving businesses from within their homes. Thus enabling them to earn a living and support their family while also adhering to cultural sensitivities.
Malnourished children crying from hunger, and women standing to work over a weaving loom for long hours need pain relief. However, with a practically non-existent health service all they have to numb the pain is heroin, opium or hashish.
Poor, drug-addicted mothers and children are in desperate need of help, so Islamic Relief started providing free healthcare in 2008. Our current project is stepping up this support. It aims to treat over 32,000 people with severe illnesses, vaccinate 24,000 people, rehabilitate 300 drug-addicted patients, and ensure the most severe cases receive emergency hospital treatment.