Despite over 40 years of conflict, in the last two decades, Afghanistan has made significant progress for children. However, children still face many challenges that are preventing them from surviving, learning and being protected.
In recent years, there has been an increase in violence, including attacks against schools and hospitals, making Afghanistan an increasingly unsafe place to be a child. Various groups to the conflict are using explosive devices from bombardments to improvised ones, 80 per cent of the victims of these are children leaving many of them with lifelong challenges
More and more families are living in poverty and require humanitarian assistance. Over the last couple of years, the number of internally displaced persons and returnees grew to more than one million due to armed conflict and other conditions, such as droughts, with more than half of these being children. This results in many children working on the street in harmful circumstances
Girls in Afghanistan also face harmful traditional practices like gender-based discrimination, early marriage and violence. Children also struggle to have their voices heard due to the unstable political environment and underdeveloped civil institutions.
We have been working in Afghanistan since 1976 to deliver lasting change to the lives of children across the country. We work closely with children, parents, teachers, village councils, religious leaders, government ministries, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders. Our programmes focus on education, health and nutrition, child protection, food security and livelihood, and humanitarian response.
We also help children learn by ensuring both girls and boys are in school. Our programmes provide the opportunity for children that have left school to access community-based education opportunities as well as return to the formal education system and we work with the government to support quality education.
We provide quality healthcare and nutrition services to help children survive, especially in humanitarian contexts. We help build the capacity of health workers, and support static and mobile health teams.
Together with our partners, we aim to protect children from all forms of violence. Our work focuses on reducing incidences of violence against children, including physical and humiliating punishments in homes and schools. We also support and protect children that are especially vulnerable such as girls, internally displaced children, returnees and children who are affected by conflict. Our programming is complimented by ongoing advocacy and communications efforts which aim to ensure public awareness and implementation of children’s rights.
Save the Children Afghanistan Country office