Afghanistan faces numerous political challenges as it fights an insurgency. It also remains one of the countries in the world most heavily polluted with explosive remnants of war. In 2019, the majority of new victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war were recorded in Afghanistan (1,538).
Kandahar rehabilitation centre | © Jaweed Tanveer / HI
HI has been active in Afghanistan since 1987. In 1996, HI built a rehabilitation centre in Kandahar for people with disabilities, including landmine victims. The centre provides physiotherapy services - including a workshop for manufacturing prostheses and orthoses.
HI is a strong actor promoting and advocating for the rights of survivors of landmines and other people with disabilities as a whole and provides technical support to Afghan authorities and other key stakeholders, contributing to a better acceptance and integration of them in the society and enhancing their access to medical and other basic services.
HI has also provided support to the Ministry of Public Health's health facilities linked with the Basic Package of Health Services in rural communities in Herat, - firstly to develop activities on Mine Risk Education and providing rehabilitation services- and Kandahar provinces, and trained their personnel.
HI assists in improving the service delivery and provided capacity-building for local actors, as well as the Government of Afghanistan to develop a curriculum and training courses for physiotherapy professionals based on recognized international standards.
Finally, HI has been implementing activities to cover emergency Psychosocial Support (PSS) and basic rehabilitation services in response to the recent conflict. HI provides community-based PSS and emergency home-based rehabilitation services in key districts.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, HI has continued to help the world’s most vulnerable people. We have adapted our interventions in more than 45 countries.
In 2018, President Trump ordered the withdrawal of 7,000 American troops from the country. After 18 months talks, finally on February 29, 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar. In September 2019, the presidential election took place.
Despite the extensive involvement of the international community, Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. War, insecurity due to daily acts of violence, and drought have driven more than 2.3 million Afghans into exile. The United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that over 360,000 people were internally displaced in the Afghanistan conflict in 2019. Children constitute over 60% of the internally displaced persons.
Number of HI staff members: 253
Date the programme opened: 1987