Despite significant improvements since 2001, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in Asia and the world, with nearly 40 per cent of the population living below the poverty line.
Government institutions are weak and unable to deliver basic services. Participation of women in decision making and in other spheres of society remains limited. Violence against women is still a major challenge in Afghanistan. Women continue to be brutally punished by different forms of violence. Access to health facilities is poor. Access to quality education and a lack of female teachers are other major challenges in the country, causing a high number of girls to drop out of schools.
Oxfam's work in Afghanistan
Oxfam first provided support in Afghanistan in 1961 and has been directly providing humanitarian and development assistance in the country since 1991, including during the Taliban rule. Oxfam currently works in Kabul and other seven provinces of the country: Balkh, Daikundi, Herat, Kandahar, Kunduz, Nangarhar and Takhar. Together with local partners, Oxfam provides assistance to families and communities affected by natural hazards and man-made disasters. We work with poor communities to help them pull themselves out of poverty and improve their lives. We promote the rights of women and youth to fight for their rights and become agents of change. We support government institutions to build capacity and influence policies that will help address structural poverty and inequality. We speak out on behalf of marginalized groups at the highest levels in both Afghanistan and among the international community.
Working in and on conflict
Afghanistan remains a country in conflict. In this part of the world, conflict manifests itself every day in various forms and at different levels. Therefore, conflict sensitivity and transformation lie at the heart of every work that we do. For us, conflict sensitivity means fully understanding the context in which we operate. We constantly assess how our work affects conflict dynamics, aiming to avoid negative impact, and maximize positive effects. Our central focus is on conflict transformation as we aspire to produce positive and peaceful outcomes. Through our programs and the relationships that we build with and between Afghan people and power holders, we constantly seek to address some of the key driving factors of conflict.
Oxfam work especially with marginalized groups in Afghanistan, such as smallholder farmers and women-headed households. We aim to improve their lives by building sustainable livelihoods, increasing their access to markets, and making them more resilient to the effects of climate change. We promote fair and equal access to natural resources, as a way to address some of the root causes of conflict.
In Afghanistan, Oxfam promotes the rights of youth and women to enable them to have a voice, participate in decision making processes, and constructively work with the government to improve and promote policies that foster inclusive security, peace building and justice.
Oxfam promotes and strengthens the constructive engagement of civil society with the district, provincial and national levels of the Afghan government. We work to improve and support the delivery of essential services, in line with the Afghan people’s needs. Our actions are guided by our overarching goal to address some of the key drivers of conflict.
Afghanistan is highly vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters including drought, floods, and conflict. 2016 and 2017 saw an influx of more than 2 million Afghan returnees from Pakistan and Iran. This further exacerbates the challenges. Oxfam works with Afghan returnees and Afghan communities affected by disasters to rebuild their lives and become more resilient to shocks and uncertainties. In Afghanistan and across Asia, Oxfam provides aid through programs focused on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), protection, food security, cash assistance and broader livelihood support.
Oxfam in Afghanistan
PO Box No. 681
House No. 3, Street No. 5, Main Road, Kolola Pushta, District No. 4,
Contact Ms. Freshta Ghani, Oxfam in Afghanistan Media & Communications Officer at email@example.com