Our Stories

  • A Seller’s Market - UNDP Helps Street Vendors in Kabul
    May 26, 2016

    Every day in Kabul, around 700,000 street vendors rise with the sun and rush into the city to earn a living. Managing this huge influx of people is a major challenge for Kabul municipality and the police. They don’t want blocked roads and traffic chaos, but the vendors also need to earn a living.

  • Ministry of Interior Affairs and UNDP Sign New LOTFA Agreement
    May 26, 2016

    Fahima*, pregnant, was forced by her husband to crawl on all fours with the family’s dogs. It was just one of the ways she was abused during her one year marriage. He also beat her with sticks, yelled obscenities at her and poured boiling water on her hands.

  • Improving Accountability Through Access to Information
    May 26, 2016

    While doing a story on maternal health in Afghanistan, journalist Mary Nabardaeen wanted to know how many women had died in childbirth at a certain hospital. Officials refused to reveal the number, saying that doing so was prohibited by the minister of public health. It was a response that the head of the Bakhter News Agency had become familiar with in her twenty years as a journalist. It was just another example of the challenges she has faced in attempting to get information from the government.

  • Police and the People Become Closer in Herat
    May 26, 2016

    In a country like Afghanistan, emerging from decades of conflict, people deeply feel the need for a police force that is closer to the community. Traditionally, Afghan citizens have harboured suspicion and fear towards the police dating back to the years of war. But this image is now gradually changing as the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA) has rolled out a model for Community Oriented Policing with technical support and funding from the Law and Order Trust Fund, which seeks to bring communities and police closer to each other.

  • Leaving a Fighting Life Behind, the Ex-Fighters Enjoying Reunion with their Families and Friends
    May 26, 2016

    Since early 2013, close to 700 combatants have surrendered their weapons and reintegrated with their families and communities in eastern provinces of Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar and Nuristan as a result of concerted efforts of a number of state agencies, including the provincial offices of the High Peace Council and Afghanistan National Security Department, with technical support from UNDP’s Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP).

  • Newly Trained Law Students to Respond to Legal Needs in Helmand Province
    May 26, 2016

    Abdullah Atal is a law student at Arakozia University in Helmand province. Though in his last year, he had yet to study key aspects of practicing law, such as how to process criminal and civil cases. That is, until he attended a training session sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme’s Justice and Human Rights in Afghanistan (JHRA) project.

  • UNDP supports Initiatives to Provide Legal Aid in Helmand
    May 26, 2016

    People accused of crimes or imprisoned in Helmand province will now have access to legal representation and legal aid following the opening of the office of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) in Lashkar Gar. The initiative, supported by UNDP’s Justice and Human Rights (JHRA) project, will mobilise 10 defence lawyers who are expected to provide legal support to approximately 150 people in 2014. The project is funded by Denmark.

  • UNDP Supports Improved Workplace Safety for Afghan Policewomen
    May 26, 2016

    Until mid-2014, Sergeant Mastura and her 11 female colleagues based at a police station in Kabul had to cope with the fact that most police premises simply were not designed to cater for the needs of female employees. “We did not have a separate place for ablutions so we had to use the same toilets as the policemen,” said First Sergeant Mastura, who has served with the national police force for six years.

  • Code of Conduct underpins modern policing in Afghanistan
    May 26, 2016

    Afghanistan’s national police force virtually disappeared as a legacy of decades of conflict. Hikmatullah Stanikzai, 26, and Safiullah Stanikzai, 25, are part of a new generation at the Afghan National Police (ANP), determined to rebuild a renewed police force capable of protecting the rights of citizens and promoting national unity among Afghans.

  • Future Officers Buoyed by Post-elections Praise for Police
    May 26, 2016

    Afghanistan’s national police force virtually disappeared as a legacy of decades of conflict. Hikmatullah Stanikzai, 26, and Safiullah Stanikzai, 25, are part of a new generation at the Afghan National Police (ANP), determined to rebuild a renewed police force capable of protecting the rights of citizens and promoting national unity among Afghans.

  • Female Pilot Encourages Afghan Girls to Let Their Dreams Take Flight
    Jul 19, 2017

    Shaesta Waiz, the first Afghan female pilot, arrived in Kabul last week, the latest stop in a round-the-world trip which sees her visiting 34 destinations over five continents in her Beechcraft Bonanza A36 aircraft. “The purpose of this trip is to inspire young girls to believe in themselves,” said Shaesta, “to believe in what they are capable of doing, regardless of where they are from, or the challenges they have faced in their lives."

  • When the Levee Breaks
    Jul 3, 2017

    Sami Jan, a 45-year-old villager, remembers the day flash floods erupted near his fields in Balkh district, 25 kilometres northwest of Mazar-e-Sharif city in northern Afghanistan. His crops – his sole livelihood—were washed away and he was trapped in the rising water. “I had no way to escape,” said Sami. “I would have died that same day if an army helicopter hadn’t rescued me. But my crops were ruined.” Chimtal River flows through Balkh district, home to 127,000 people, mostly farmers. The river is the main source of irrigation for their farmlands, but over the past decade, flooding from the river has become more frequent and more severe, mainly due to climate change.

  • UNDP and Australia UPGRADE Alice Ghan IDP Camp (PHOTOBOOK)
    May 24, 2017

    August 2016, Kabul – This week, UNDP and the Australian Government kicked off several new projects to improve life and job prospects for the 300 residents of Alice Ghan, a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) about an hour’s drive from Kabul.

  • Hope Springs in AliceGhan: Residents Cherish Better Lives and Incomes
    May 24, 2017

    On March 12, representatives from UNDP, the Australian Government and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) visited AliceGhan township, located 30 kilometers north of Kabul, where, with the help of Australian funding, UNDP has built latrines, kitchens, boundary walls and storage rooms in 300 houses of internally displaced people. One of the residents, Ahmad, says, “We needed a boundary wall to keep our children safe from strangers and wild animals.” The construction work provided over 55,000 labor days over five months.

  • Daikundi Governor Shows Women Can Lead in Afghanistan
    May 21, 2017

    Masooma Muradi is Afghanistan’s only female governor. In her two years as Governor of Daikundi, one of the poorest and most marginalized provinces in Afghanistan, she hasn’t had it easy. From the very beginning, she met a public backlash against her appointment as an Afghan woman to the top government position in their province. “A woman governor will not be able to bring prosperity to our province,” Hazratullah, a male shopkeeper in the town of Nili, told a UNDP delegation visiting the province just last year.

  • Female Nurses in Demand: UNDP Trains 200+ Young Women to Save Lives in Rural Areas
    May 8, 2017

    23 October 2016, Jalalabad City, Nangarhar – In a very ordinary hostel in Jalalabad, something extraordinary is going on. A young woman is sitting on her hostel bed, bent over a textbook. This is Abida and she is training to be a nurse in a country where most women haven’t even finished primary school. Abida has just finished a long day of classwork and on-the-job training. She’s exhausted, but determined to carry on because nurses are hard to find in her home village, more than 100 kilometres away in Nuristan. In this isolated province, woman commonly die because basic healthcare is unavailable – either because there are no doctors or because women are not allowed to be treated by a man. Thinking about this situation keeps Abida going when her eyes are heavy and her brain numb.

  • Out of Exile: Women Return to Afghanistan to Start New Lives and Businesses with Help from UNDP
    May 8, 2017

    4 January 2017, Mazar-e-Sharif — Gulsoom Kohistani was born in Iran and in her early teens when her family decided to return to Afghanistan after two decades of exile. Along with hundreds of other families, Gulsoom’s family settled in Aliabad – a township 20 kilometers northeast of Balkh’s Mazar-e-Sharif. For most of them, the ongoing insurgency meant it was too dangerous to return to their original homes. They had to start new lives from scratch. For the first few years, Gulsoom and her neighbors wove carpets. But the work was hard and the income small. So UNDP provided equipment and training for 47 of the women to set up a small business producing pickles, spices, jams and spaghetti.

  • No Lingering! UNDP and Religious Leaders Promote Women in Sport and Education
    May 8, 2017

    Bamyan, 9 October 2016 – Bamyan, in central Afghanistan, is a province of snow-capped mountains and difficult travel. But it’s not just the rugged terrain that keeps girls from going to school and taking part in sports. The mind also has mountains that girls need to climb if they want to get equal treatment.

  • Video Update: Religious Leaders Promote Women in Sport and Education
    May 8, 2017

    Masooma and her friends in Bamyan started skiing in 2012. But village gossip made it hard for them to continue. Then local mullah, Abdul Rahman Redwani, started preaching on women’s rights, changing people’s minds and getting the girls back on the slopes.

  • Gender and Women's Studies at Kabul University: A Step Towards Addressing the Gender Gap
    May 8, 2017

    Kabul, 10 July 2016 – Afghanistan is one of the most challenging countries in the world to be a woman – and for a woman to get a decent education. According to World Bank data, net enrollment at the end of the Taliban regime in 2001 was 43% for boys but a miserable 3% for girls. Since 2002, school enrollment has skyrocketed, boosting the number of girls in secondary education from 3% to 36%, but access to higher education remains a challenge, especially in remote areas.

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