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 is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries on earth. Three decades of war have taken a punishing toll on the Afghan people. Basic services like health care, water, roads, and education have been neglected for far too long. Though some remote regions live in relative peace, they endure frequent natural disasters, unreliable harvests, malnutrition, minimal access to health care, unclean water, and poor sanitation. 

In recent years, Afghanistan has had the world's highest infant mortality rate and the second highest mortality rate for children under five. The deadly combination of conflict, disasters, and unsustainable land practices have pushed people to their limits, locked in a constant struggle for survival. Life expectancy in Afghanistan is just 48 years.

Medair has been actively providing relief and recovery in the country since 1996.

Source: EMDAT 2010 Study based on 10-year average
Where We Help
Central Highlands

Remote communities in Bamyan and Wardak provinces are extremely vulnerable to flooding, drought, and harsh weather conditions. They also have very limited access to safe water, latrines, or health care. Despite life-threatening needs, few organisations are active to provide them with assistance.

Our Projects
Village by Village, School by School: WASH is Coming to Waras District image
Village by Village, School by School: WASH is Coming to Waras District

In remote Waras district, Bamyan, Medair continues to reach underserved villages and schools with safe and accessible water, latrines, and improved awareness about health, hygiene, and nutrition. With assistance already provided to 40 percent of Waras’ communities, our latest project includes:

  • Constructing water reservoirs and wells in villages and school
  • Encouraging construction of latrines through community-led total sanitation (CLTS)
  • Providing hygiene promotion to families
  • Training village water committees and pump mechanics
  • Offering special financial assistance to extremely vulnerable families

“There are fewer cases of diarrhoea and malnutrition from the communities that have benefited from WASH programmes. The majority of the patients we treat for diarrhoea and malnutrition come from communities that have not had any WASH assistance.” 

- Dr. Abozer, head doctor at Panjab hospital, Bamyan

Building Sustainability, Preventing Disaster: Land Management in Markazi Bihsud image
Building Sustainability, Preventing Disaster: Land Management in Markazi Bihsud

Severe drought threatens the lives and livelihoods of people in Markazi Bihsud district, Wardak province. Therefore, Medair is running acash-for-work programme where drought-affected residents build land and water management structures and earn income that enables them to feed their families. The new structures reduce the impact of flooding while also improving soil infiltration and irrigation. This in turn leads to higher crop yields and reduces the impact of future droughts.

Our project includes:

  • Building check dams, catch dams, bunds, and contour trenches
  • Training in land and water management techniques that reduce risks from future disasters
  • Supporting families hard-hit by drought with food assistance

  • Do Not Forget Afghanistan 24 November 2014
    Take a moment and think about Afghanistan: its fascinating history and culture, its people, and its decades of conflict you’ve heard so much about. Take a moment and think about …
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Shelter and Infrastructure icon

    Shelter and Infrastructure

    Safe shelter is at the very core of human survival and dignity. Infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools, and clinics help communities recover from crisis and build a better future.

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.