About us in Afghanistan

Opening a youth club. Running a literacy workshop for women. Learning about basic healthcare. It might not sound like much for a country that’s been battered by three decades of war. A country that, two years ago, was officially the poorest in the world, according to the UN. But it’s with small steps like these that, here in Afghanistan, we’re rebuilding our country.

ActionAid Afghanistan has been operating since 2002. We work in more than 60 villages with people whose lives have been blighted by war, drought and poverty. 

Women’s rights

Life has improved for women in Afghanistan since the days of Taliban, but many are still denied basic rights. Forced marriages and domestic abuse are common, but it’s almost impossible for a woman to get a divorce. Only one in eight women can read and write.

We’re helping women stand up for their rights and take charge of their lives. We provide education and training – everything from reading, writing and numeracy to specialist skills that will help women earn a better income.

Children affected by war

War can leave children deeply scarred – especially when they’ve been part of the fighting. We provide former child soldiers and children affected by war with opportunities they’ve been denied – to get an education, to socialise, or simply to have some fun together.


In Afghanistan, women are more likely to die in childbirth and children more likely to die before their fifth birthday than in almost any other country. We’re training villagers in basic healthcare, providing clean water, and supporting livestock farming as a source of food and income. 

Before ActionAid came we knew each other, but not well. It's hard for women to gather together and we had to get permission from the men... We are trying our best to do something and solve our own problems...


I now have the power to speak. I am not afraid any more to say what I think.

said Bibi, northern Afghanistan

Afghanistan at a glance

  • Population: 28.9 million

  • GDP per person: US$1000

  • Life expectancy: 44
  • Adult literacy: 43% men /13% women
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