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Afghanistan

Afghanistan is still one of the countries most heavily polluted by landmines and explosive remnants of war. According to the Landmine Monitor, more than 4,000 km² of land is thought to be contaminated.

A man supported by Haandicap International to set up a shop

© J-P. Porcher / Handicap International

Our actions

Landmines and explosive remnants of war are dispersed throughout the country, with a million Afghans living close to at-risk areas. Most of the victims are civilians, and over half are children.

Operating in the country since 1987, Handicap International has 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. It also distributes mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs etc.). Landmine victims and people with disabilities requiring care are referred to the centre thanks to a network of volunteers trained by Handicap International.

Handicap International also works to develop a dynamic by involving local disabled people’s organisations and survivors of accidents caused by explosive remnants of war with the aim of giving them a voice and having their needs acknowledged by political leaders or organisations with the potential to run development projects in the country.

In support of the national and local authorities, Handicap International is developing a project to improve the accessibility of rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. This will result in a harmonized training curriculum for local physiotherapist and orthopaedic technicians, the opening of training centres in 7 provinces, capacity building (equipment and staff training) of the pre-existing rehabilitation care facilities. 

Areas of intervention

Latest stories

Use of banned explosive weapons at highest level since 2010
© P. Houliat / Handicap International
Explosive weapons

Use of banned explosive weapons at highest level since 2010

From Syria to Yemen, Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar and Tunisia, the use of banned explosive weapons increased significantly in 2014 and 2015. To mark International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, Handicap International is calling for an immediate end to the use of these weapons.

Afghanistan: Rehabilitation centre in Kandahar helps injured and disabled people
© Jaweed Tanveer / Handicap International
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Afghanistan: Rehabilitation centre in Kandahar helps injured and disabled people

Since 1996, Handicap International has managed a physical rehabilitation centre in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. This centre is the only one providing comprehensive services to disabled people across the whole region. We visit the centre with Rasool, the officer in charge of our activities in Kandahar province.

Sayed, 6: “I can play with my friends again!”
© Jaweed Tanveer / Handicap International
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Sayed, 6: “I can play with my friends again!”

Sayed is a six-year-old boy from Afghanistan with an irresistible smile. When he was five, he was injured by an improvised mine – one of many victim-activated devices that regularly kill and maim people in Afghanistan. After Sayed’s left leg was amputated, he was immediately treated by Handicap International and he is steadily regaining his independence. We talked to him and his father, Mohammed, at Handicap International’s physical rehabilitation centre in Kandahar.

Background

Afghanistan is one of the most heavily-mined countries on the planet. In 2014, there were over 1,200 accidents (caused by mines, explosive devices and explosive remnants of war). 95% of the casualties identified were civilians, 47% of them children.

Afghanistan is a mountainous country on the Asian continent. It is prone to adverse weather conditions (droughts and floods) and is located in an active earthquake zone (Hindu Kush region).

Its recent history has been marked by three decades of conflict that have hampered the development of its economy, which even today is dependent on international aid.

War, insecurity due to daily acts of violence, and drought have driven more than 2.5 million Afghans into exile.  Within the country itself, more than 700,000 people are believed to have fled from their native regions to the capital, Kabul. 

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