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.

  • From the Spent and Unconsidered Earth – a Forest!
    Oct 23, 2016

    15 August 2016, Jalalabad – The Gamberi Desert, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, is home to 1,000 families. It’s a land of extremes: harsh, dry, sandy, and hot, making life a struggle for the people who live there. Many years ago, it was different. The Gamberi Desert was a forest of indigenous bushes that held the soil together and allowed life to grow. But decades of conflict and poverty forced communities to cut down the bushes and use the wood cooking and heating. Deforestation led to desertification, sand storms and the erosion of agricultural fields.

  • Solar Powered Education: Nangahar University Blazes a Trail
    Oct 23, 2016

    Nangarhar University, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, is the second largest University in Afghanistan. Covering a whopping 40 hectares of land and serving 15,000 students, its tree-lined avenues stretch on for miles. But at night, they are pitch black, leaving both students and professors feeling unsafe in the dark. Public spaces are empty and no one spends much time outside.

  • Afghanistan’s first-ever Environmental Short Film Contest
    Aug 29, 2016

    5 June 2016, Kabul – Today is World Environment Day and here in Afghanistan we celebrated with the country’s first-ever Environmental Short Film Contest.

  • Once Were Hunters – Now Conservationists
    Aug 29, 2016

    17 March 2016, Kabul – Daud killed his first ibex when he was only 12 years old. His father would wake him up in the middle of the night to go hunting, and they’d set out together in the dark, Daud so afraid that his hands would shake. Later on, he’d learn to kill with calm efficiency.

  • Equator Prize Winner from Afghanistan Brings Back Pride and Hope
    Aug 29, 2016

    Badakhshan, 20 January 2016 – Ahmad Seyar woke up early one morning in late September, performed his prayers and went back to bed. Then he picked up his phone, scrolled through his emails and read “Congrats on winning the Equator Prize” – a message from Helen Clark, the head of UNDP.

  • From Refugee to Politician: Afghanistan’s First Female Provincial Council Chair Fights for Rights
    Aug 10, 2016

    Tayeba Khawary is an Afghan, but she was born as a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan’s violent conflict in the 1980s. Hoping for better times one day, her father worked as a laborer to support her university studies until the family could return to their home in Afghanistan’s central province of Bamyan.

  • Portrait of a Young Man as a Civic Educator
    Aug 10, 2016

    Mazar-e-Sharif: A class of 130 female students at the Mawlana Institute of Health Sciences in downtown Mazar, listen in rapt attention as Abdullah Ahmadi (name changed), 25, a civic educator and his team explains the finer details of the on-going voter registration process to the young students: the essential documentation that they need to bring to the registration centre to establish their legal date of birth and their identification.

  • Afghan Youth Votes in Historic Election
    Aug 10, 2016

    Despite rain and security challenges in many parts of the country, Afghans went to the polls on 5th April in Presidential and Provincial Council elections. The election marks the first time in Afghanistan’s history that power is handed from one democratically elected government to another. Young Afghans who reached the age of 18 since 2010, and those who have not registered before, were queuing to receive voter cards until 1st April. As nearly two thirds of Afghans are under the age of 25, Afghanistan's youth make up a significant proportion of voters.

  • Local Democracy and Development Go Hand-in-Hand
    Aug 10, 2016

    Mahmud-i-Raqi, Kapisa Province—Mushtari, a 42-year-old high school graduate and secretary of the District Development Assembly of Mahmudi-Raqi district, some 80 kilometres north of Kabul, is presenting to fellow Assembly members a project to build a primary school for girls.

  • Enabling Responsive Governance, Cutting Time in Service Delivery
    Aug 10, 2016

    Mazar-e-Sharif: Marzia, resident of Baba Kambar area in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, found her husband disappear after the floods. She was left to fend for herself and her three daughters. Marziya approached the Citizen Service Centre (CSC) located in the Provincial Governor’s Office, with her grievance.

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