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.
© J-P. Porcher / Handicap International
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.
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.