AfghanistanBY THE NUMBERS
According to the United Nations, living standards in Afghanistan are among the lowest in the world. In a 2010 report, the UN ranked Afghanistan 155th out of 169 countries on its global Human Development Index, which measures education, lifespan and economic performance.
Many of Aghanistan’s challengers are due to conflicts, but others are inherent because of its climate and terrain: while 78% of the population works in agriculture, only 12% of the land can be farmed. Survival is not taken for granted: one in every four children born in Afghanistan will die before age 5.
How Islamic Relief Helping
Islamic ReliefTM has been working in Afghanistan since 1992, providing aid services to people who have suffered for generations. Poverty, war, natural disasters and drug trafficking have all contributed to the anguish of the Afghan people. In response to the 2001 conflict in the region, Islamic Relief opened a permanent office in Afghanistan. Early projects combined emergency relief with economic development initiatives, in addition to drought relief and food assistance. Later projects added education, water and sanitation, livelihood support and rebuilding of community infrastructure.
Here are some current and recently completed programs in Afghanistan:
- Home-based education for women
Teachers are providing education to 900 rural women in the Bamyan province. This includes literacy training and health education.
- Education for orphans at Shaheed Habibul Rahman Orphanage Center
More than 250 orphans receive a comprehensive education in math, science, history, geography, Arabic, English, local languages and Islamic studies, and participate in a cultural program and studies.
- Vocational training for orphans
About 300 orphans ages 10-18 in Kabul are learning to make soccer balls, school bags and silk flowers, and are receiving instruction in tailoring. They are given equipment (such as a sewing machine and scissors) to continue using their skills, and enroll in an apprenticeship program to open the door to job opportunities.
- Looms for women
In the Shoor Tepa district o fthe Balkh province, 250 women were given modern looms to allow them to weave rugs—a traditional industry in Afghan society—and earn a livelihood free of the chronic pain caused by old-fashioned looms.
- One-to-one orphan sponsorship