Medair Medair

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Afghanistan

Natural disasters strike 590,000 Afghans every year, mostly in remote, isolated communities.
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Afghanistan has known little else but war for the past 30 years. Fighting has forced thousands of people to flee their homes, seeking shelter with host families or in informal settlements. Remote areas are vulnerable to environmental disasters.  Afghans living in these areas compete with extreme weather, flooding, drought, and landslides to produce enough food to feed their families.  Water often comes from unprotected sources, putting entire communities at risk of waterborne disease.

Medair has been working in Afghanistan since 1996, responding to the needs of vulnerable and difficult-to-reach communities.

Where We Help
Central Highlands

Medair provides relief in informal settlements and rural districts in the southern region of Afghanistan, where displaced Afghans have limited access to health care and nutrition. Malnutrition is a particular challenge for children under five and pregnant and lactating women.

Medair provides relief in some of the most remote areas in the mountainous Central Highlands region. These hard-to-reach communities are vulnerable to environmental disaster such as flooding and drought. Food shortages occur often and access to safe water and latrines is limited.

Our Projects
Nutrition and Health services for conflict-affected communities image
Nutrition and Health services for conflict-affected communities

Southern Afghanistan has been a centre of conflict for decades. War in this region has taken a toll on the availability of basic services such as health care and has internally displaced thousands of people from their homes. Many have sought shelter in urban centres and informal settlements, but life here is an extreme challenge. Malnutrition is high among children under five and pregnant and lactating women, but cultural and financial barriers and general insecurity prevent these groups from accessing treatment. Medair treats nutrition-related illness in children under five and pregnant and lactating women living in informal settlements and rural districts affected by conflict.

Village by Village, School by School: WASH is coming to Waras image
Village by Village, School by School: WASH is coming to Waras

In the remote Central Highlands, Medair continues to reach underserved villages and schools with safe and accessible water, latrines, and improved awareness about hygiene and nutrition. Our latest project includes:

  • Constructing protected water sources and wells in villages and schools
  • Encouraging and training the construction of community and school latrines  
  • Providing hygiene promotion to families and schools
  • Training village and water committees and pump mechanics
  • Offering cash-for-work assistance to farming families hard hit by environmental disaster

Growing Food in Drought Conditions

Drought, flooding, and degraded natural resources mean communities in the Central Highlands struggle to grow sufficient food. Medair is taking a long-term approach to addressing these issues by working with communities to help them identify and develop multi-year plans to address the environmental risks that threaten their livelihoods. Our current projects aim to:

  • Increase production of food at household level by offering training in better crop and land management, improved agricultural knowledge, and skills
  • Train women in household nutrition and cultivating kitchen gardens
  • Work with disaster-affected communities to develop and implement natural resource management and development planning in their community

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  • Mastana’s story: Surviving the harsh winters in rural Afghanistan 25 September 2014
    Mastana, 60, had never tasted lettuce before in her life. Living in an isolated mountain village in remote Afghanistan, Mastana’s diet hasn’t changed throughout her life. …
  • Scaling the Heights of Remoteness 14 March 2014
    An epic trek into the mountains of Afghanistan. In November 2013, Medair travelled to Legane, the most remote region in Bamyan province to distribute emergency food supplies that …

Core Activities

  • Health & Nutrition icon

    Health & Nutrition

    When crisis strikes, health risks multiply. Families suffer from preventable diseases. Children are weakened from malnutrition. Everyone needs health care and nutrition—especially during crisis.

  • Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene icon

    Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

    WASH saves lives by stopping the spread of disease. In a crisis, few things are more important than safe water, sanitary latrines, and good hygiene.

Witness the impact of food insecurity and what Medair is doing to improve the situation.

Click here to download the fact sheet for our programme in Afghanistan.