Medair Medair



Malnutrition contributes to nearly 50% of childhood deaths in Afghanistan.
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Afghanistan has known little else but war for the past 30 years. Fighting has forced thousands of people to leave their homes, seeking protection with host families or informal settlements. Ongoing insecurity means families living in these settlements have limited access to healthcare.

In remote mountain villages, farmers contend with flash flooding and landslides to grow 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 some of the most remote areas in the mountainous Central Highlands region, where hard-to-reach communities are trying to grow food for their families out of earth that is frequently affected by flooding and drought. Access to safe water and latrines is limited.

Southern Afghanistan

Medair provides relief to vulnerable people in southern Afghanistan who have fled conflict and sought protection in informal settlements. Malnutrition is a particular challenge among these populations, especially for children under five and pregnant and breastfeeding women. We’re one of only a handful of humanitarian organisations currently working in this region.

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

For the thousands of Afghans that have fled their homes and sought protection in urban centres, life is an extreme challenge. This region has some of the highest rates of malnutrition among young children in the country, but insecurity and cultural and financial barriers limit access to treatment. Medair treats severe and moderate malnutrition in children under five and pregnant and breastfeeding women living in informal settlements and rural districts affected by conflict.

Village by Village, School by School: Water for the Central Highlands image
Village by Village, School by School: Water for the Central Highlands

In the remote Central Highlands, Medair continues to reach underserved villages and schools with safe water, latrines, and hygiene training. Our latest projects include:

  • 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 enough food to feed their families throughout the long, bitterly cold winter. Medair works with communities to help them identify and develop plans to mitigate the environmental disasters that threaten their livelihoods. Our current projects:

  • Teach farmers to make better use of the limited water and soil resources where they grow crops
  • Train women to grow their own vegetables so their families will have a more vitamin- and nutrient-rich diet
  • Work with disaster-affected communities to identify where their community is at risk of flash flooding or avalanches, and hire vulnerable people to build dams and trenches to reduce the risk of floods and water shortages

  • AFGHANISTAN: Safe Water in Secluded Places 02 April 2015
    Water is one of the most important resources on earth, but only one in four people in Afghanistan’s Central Highlands has access to safe water. Last year we received a call …
  • Amir’s First Apple 25 March 2015
    Eight-year-old Amir loves apples, but he’s only had them once: Last year, when they were available in the bazaar in his village for the first time ever. “I’d never even seen …
  • From Survival to Life: Feeding Children in a Conflict Zone 16 March 2015
    When we first met Wahida, she was 15 months old and weighed far less than she should. She had diarrhoea and was anaemic. Zarghana, her mother, was desperately …

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.
  • Food Security icon

    Food Security

    Food insecurity can occur for any number of reasons: conflict, natural disaster, environmental change or lack of access to markets. Food shortages exacerbate existing crises and can irreversibly affect a population.

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

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