Our Stories

  • 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.

  • One Village One Product: How a Japanese Idea is Changing Lives and Helping Rural Communities
    May 7, 2017

    In March this year, representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), together with officials from the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), and UNDP specialists from Afghanistan and Tajikistan, visited Kyrgyzstan and Japan to see One Village One Product (OVOP) projects in action, and to meet with beneficiaries.

  • Playing to Win: Volleyball Champion Muzhgan Encourages Young Women to Fight for Their Dreams
    Mar 22, 2017

    Muzhgan Sadaat, 23, is a soft-spoken young woman who comes across as happy-go-lucky. But when it comes to following her passion, she won’t surrender to anybody. Muzhgan was ten when she started to play volleyball, but as she grew older, her father thought it wasn’t appropriate for her to continue. “He said our relatives didn’t like it,” recalls Muzhgan. “They believed it was shameful for a girl to play sports.”

  • A Day in Mazar with the Korean Ambassador
    Mar 22, 2017

    25 July 2016, Mazar-e-Sharif – Last week, we were in Mazar-e-Sharif, where, thanks to generous support from the Republic of Korea, UNDP has helped to improve local governance and support local women as they build successful businesses.

  • Herat Women Get Legal Help to Fight Desertion and Domestic Violence
    May 26, 2016

    Herat, November 2011: Fatima (name changed), resident of Injil on the outskirts of Herat city in western Afghanistan, was married to her first cousin Sultan, at age 15. Unable to cope with the daily physical violence of her husband who also forbade her from attending school, and daily arguments with her mother-in-law, she ran away to her parent’s home. It has been seven months since Fatima left her husband’s home and her condition is exacerbated by the fact she is in an advanced stage of pregnancy.

  • A Home-Based Embroidery Business Witnesses Twofold Increase in Profit
    May 26, 2016

    Azima Safi, 50, runs a small embroidery business in Jalalabad. She learned sewing handicrafts when she lived with her family as a refugee in Peshawar, Pakistan during the 90s. As the oldest kid in the family, she had to quit school at grade five and work for someone else making handicrafts at a low daily wage, which she spent on her siblings’ schooling. Upon returning to Afghanistan in 1998, she started up a home-based embroidery business of her own in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province.

  • Kabul Launch of HDR Stirs a Buzz and Conversation on Employment among Afghan Youth
    May 26, 2016

    UNDP’s Human Development Report 2015 launch kicked of Tuesday afternoon at the American University of Afghanistan with an impressive turnout—over two hundred civil society activists, government officials, private sector representatives, journalists, students and UN staff, with one third of them women.

  • Building a Way Out of Poverty: UNDP Project Connects People to Schools, Hospitals, Markets
    May 26, 2016

    Uruzgan, Oct 2015 – The village of Qadam Shahli is split right down the middle by a river. For years, the only way people from one side could visit family members living on the other was via a little wooden bridge.

  • No More Floods! UNDP Canal Protects Qala-e-Naw
    May 26, 2016

    A canal that passes through Qala-e-Naw city and its eight adjacent villages in western Badghis province no longer leaks during flooding after it has been repaired with US $ 740,000 funding from the National Area-Based Development Programme, a joint rural development initiative of UNDP and the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

  • Wells Provide Water to a Kuchi Community in Bost District
    May 26, 2016

    More than 2400 Kuchi of Registan area in Bost district have now access to water provided by 20 wells built with support from the National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) and UNDP’s Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP).

  • After Her Father Falls Ill, a 14 Year Old Girl Must Pay for Family Expenses
    May 26, 2016

    “My father was the only person feeding our family. Before he was young and healthy and was able to sell our vegetables and fruits at the bazaar.” But this is not the case now as Farzana Hazarath, a 14 year old girl from Kang district of Nimroz province in southwest Afghanistan, explains.

  • A New Bridge in Garam Sair District Brings People Closer to Schools and Markets
    May 26, 2016

    More than 2400 Kuchi of Registan area in Bost district have now access to water provided by 20 wells built with support from the National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) and UNDP’s Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP).

  • Local Decision-making Improves Women’s Lives in Afghanistan
    May 26, 2016

    In the village of Jukna in Badghis Province, Gulsatan recalls how in earlier days women had to walk four kilometres daily simply to collect drinking water for their families. The 45-year-old widow, a mother of six, is relieved those days are now past. ”They collected water from uncovered reservoirs which were exposed to impurities. Women were constantly at risk of bacterial and parasitic infections, and their children risked diarrhoeal disease,” she says. This is a common problem across this remote, mountainous province in western Afghanistan. Potable water is scarce, and often brackish or contaminated.

  • Mushroom Cultivation Training In India Opens New Vistas for Afghan Farmers
    May 26, 2016

    Kabul, Afghanistan: Sherpur, a tony neighborhood in the heart of Kabul city and a busy urban sprawl is the most unlikely place to find a vegetable farm. In one of the obscure lanes here surrounded by plush apartment blocks that are home to a gaggle of foreigners, Haji Nisar Ahmad runs a mushroom research and cultivation centre. “Mushrooms can be grown anywhere, from a car-park to an attic, why even a goat shed would do just fine”, Nisar says with a chuckle.

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