Our Stories

  • Energy Experts of the Future
    Oct 29, 2017

    Hasan Mahdi, 22, in his last year studying at the engineering faculty at the University of Kabul, has just learned some new scientific skills.

  • Windows of Happiness
    Oct 15, 2017

    Nafisa is a 42-year-old woman from Zinda Jan district in Herat, Afghanistan, married, with five daughters and two sons.

  • Environment Friendly Farming Improves Gender and Economic Equality for Women
    Oct 15, 2017

    Ghuncha Gul is a woman farmer fondly known as ‘honey’ by her villagers as she keeps bees to make honey. She also manages a greenhouse.

  • Peace: the Distant, Hopeful Dream of Every Afghan
    Sep 20, 2017

    One Autumn day in 1998, seven-year old Zarghona Darya was doing her homework on the floor of the family house in Bamyan province, when her father rushed in, shouting “Taliban! Taliban!”

  • Bridge over Troubled Water
    Aug 29, 2017

    Sofi Mohammed Alim, a 67-year old man from Yangi Qala district, Takhar Province, has seen a lot. He remembers the time, not long ago, when the bridge across the River Kildish was so dilapidated that villagers were afraid to cross. “It was a thin wooden structure 30 meters long, and it touched the surface of the water. Yet it was the only way to connect with the rest of the district,” says Sofi. “Walking on that bridge was like being a high-wire walker in the circus. I remember at least two women who lost their babies, because they were unable to cross the bridge to get help.”

  • Muqadasa: Fighting for Peace and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan
    Aug 13, 2017

    Sharp, outspoken and confident: twenty-four-year-old Muqadasa Ahmadzai wears a veil, but it cannot hide these qualities. She was born in the early 90s to a traditional Afghan family in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan. As the ninth girl in a culture which often gives preference to boys, she had to fight for her position from her first breath. Her family adhered to the traditional belief that girls should remain at home after they reach the age of puberty.

  • 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.

  • Making Afghanistan a Safer Place: 250 Women Police Return From Training in Turkey
    Feb 23, 2017

    12 February 2017, Kabul, Afghanistan – For 24-year-old Nabila, becoming a police officer was not only a childhood dream but a sacred duty. This was something she felt she had to do after witnessing the suffering of women in her community. But it was not an easy decision for the mother of a 6-year-old in a town where only two women had ever been brave enough to join the police force. She had to go up against neighbors who said women police were “despicable” and “corrupting the minds of other girls”.

  • The Secret Behind Nili Market’s Success in Daikundi
    Feb 7, 2017

    Daikundi, 05 Feb 2017 — Nili, the capital city of Daikundi province has always had a market, but no one used it much because it was filthy and difficult to reach. The people requested something be done and so the Government of Afghanistan and UNDP provided roads, toilets, drinking water and a landfill site for waste. Now people can get to the market, spend a longer time there, and the whole place is cleaner and healthier. This not only improves people’s daily quality of life, but also boosts the economy.

  • Lift Off For The Global Goals: UNDP’s SDG Kite Festival brings hundreds of women, men and children together for a day of celebration in Kabul
    Jan 10, 2017

    Everyone is Afghanistan loves flying kits – so what better way to get people taking about development than by holding a development-themed kite festival? Last month, UNDP set out with 500 kites to the top of Kabul’s Wazir Akbar Khan hill, and we invited all of Kabul to join us. Around 600 local people came along – men, women and children – to spend a day in sunshine flying kites decorated with the logos of the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • New Trees Bring a Breath of Fresh Air to Bamyan Farmers
    Jan 9, 2017

    Jawzari is an area of great beauty and environmental significance in Bamyan province. But it is threatened by floods and avalanches. Since 2013, UNDP has helped local communities plant trees and set up nurseries, which protect against floods and provide new sources of income.

  • Scoring Points for Women: Volleyball Teams Compete in Kabul Women's Championship
    Dec 28, 2016

    UNDP and the Afghan Red Crescent Society organized a volleyball tournament for young women at Kabul University this month - part of the global 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender violence.

  • UNDP and the Global Fund Provide Malaria Tests and Drugs Where They Are Most Needed
    Dec 13, 2016

    Jalalabad, November 2016 – On a scorching July afternoon several years ago, a farmer rushed into a laboratory in downtown Jalalabad with his two-year-old son, Sabawoon, fainting in his arms. “I’m here to test him for malaria!” he blurted out. Sabawoon had already been sick for two months in his rural village, but no one knew what was wrong. Even though Afghanistan has the fourth-largest malaria burden outside of sub-Saharan Africa, diagnostic facilities were extremely limited. This laboratory in Jalalabad was the only place in the whole province with a track record of diagnosing the most severe form of malaria. Just one sharp-eyed technician and his ageing microscope meant the difference between diagnosis and disaster.

  • Fear and Cajoling in Kabul: Bringing HIV Services to High Risk Groups
    Dec 1, 2016

    1 December 2016, Kabul – Edris is a young man living in Kabul. Last year, he broke his nose trying to break up a fight, but when he went to hospital, doctors found out he had HIV and refused to treat him. “It really disappointed me,” he says. “Not just the bad treatment, but because I know that other people with HIV also run into the same kind of discrimination.” Edris knows this because he’s seen it. Just four months before, one of his friends died of appendicitis because doctors weren’t willing to operate.

  • UNDP Joins Fight Against Tuberculosis in Afghanistan
    Dec 1, 2016

    Fifty-year-old Musa Khan Panahi wears a smile of hope because he’s reclaiming a life he nearly lost. Meanwhile, Muhammad Rustam, an emaciated bedridden teenager, struggles with his health at a hospital on the western outskirts of Kabul.

  • After Half a Life of Working in UNDP, Farida has Seen a lot, Learned a lot and Helped a lot of People
    Nov 8, 2016

    24 February 2016, Kabul — Farida Alam is UNDP Afghanistan’s longest-serving member of staff. She’s been with us for 25 years – a period in which Afghanistan and UNDP have seen astonishing changes.

  • Come On, Bovine, Light My Fire: UNDP Biogas Systems Turn Manure into Cheap, Clean Power
    Oct 23, 2016

    21 September 2016, Dara Noor, Jalalabad – For most rural Afghans, having a cup of tea, or a bath, or a warm house means you have to cut down some trees. With mains power covering only 35% of the countryside, wood remains the primary source of heat and fuel.

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