With its history of civil and international war, Afghanistan struggles to maintain
its democracy and continue its reconstruction efforts of the last decade. The
country is a mosaic of cultures, tribes and ethnicities.
Three decades of conflict and an array of natural disasters,
including drought, earthquake, flood and heavy snow, make living conditions
challenging, especially for the poor. Access to basic social services is
minimal throughout the country, particularly in remote villages, which not only
lack clinics but also good roads and communication. Gender inequity makes it
difficult for women to access adequate health care, and many women are
subjected to abuse and violence.
Afghanistan has the world’s highest infant mortality rate. About
20 percent of children do not reach their fifth birthday.
ChildFund has served children in Afghanistan since 2001.
An uncertain political environment means children are often
neglected, abandoned and abused. ChildFund Afghanistan has created Child
Well-Being Committees to engage communities in post-conflict healing and to
protect children. This work involves training parents, community members and
government staff in basic child protection issues. ChildFund has worked in
reintegration of children by training and mentoring social workers and child
rights practitioners in legal and social work institutions.
Despite many policy interventions, women in Afghanistan suffer
high rates of physical, sexual and psychological violence. Other forms of abuse
include forced marriage, domestic violence, human trafficking and denial of
basic services, including education and health care.
To improve conditions for women and girls, ChildFund works to
provide legal support, mediation and prevention techniques.
ChildFund rehabilitated 33 community health posts and trained 66
community health volunteers to provide basic services.
ChildFund also teaches mothers about prenatal care. In Nangarhar
province, the rate of pregnant mothers’ going for regular prenatal check-ups
increased from 37 percent to 90 percent. Mothers are also ensuring their
children are immunized and their growth monitored regularly, and they more
often consult health providers when their children are sick.
Trained volunteers educate children and families about healthy
practices including hand washing, sanitation and hygiene. ChildFund constructed
more than 1,000 covered wells and hand pumps to provide communities with safe
Through the RESTART project in the eastern region of the country,
ChildFund offers feeding sessions for more than 1,200 children and has
constructed seven solar-powered water system wells that provide safe drinking
water to more than 1,350 refugee families.
The RESTART project in Nangarhar province educates parents on
child development and improved parenting skills, reaching more than 1,000
mothers. For preschool-age children in the area, ChildFund has constructed five
Early Childhood Development centers, serving 200 children from refugee
In Afghanistan, only 18 percent of women and girls ages 15-24 can
read and write. ChildFund provides community-based literacy classes
specifically for women and girls, but also supports literacy classes for men
and boys. ChildFund also opened 74 community libraries.
And, because playing is learning, ChildFund provided playground
equipment to Children’s Resource Centers and schools, benefiting more than