Human Stories


High Quality Inputs Result in High Quality Harvests for Afghan Farmers

Since its inception in 2018 the Community Based Agriculture and Rural Development (CBARD) project has constructed more than 1,125 commercial and micro greenhouses for former opium poppy growers in 12…  


Farmers in Bala Murghab Expand Irrigable Land, Leave Flood Woes Behind

Kot is a strategically located district in Nangarhar province. The population of more than 160,000 people is mostly involved in agriculture sector. The district's high fertility soil enables the…  


Rural Communities Livelihoods Protection

Kot is a strategically located district in Nangarhar province. The population of more than 160,000 people is mostly involved in agriculture sector. The district's high fertility soil enables the…  


Exploring Potential Foreign Markets Paves the Way for New Exports for Afghan Traders

Afghanistan’s finest home-grown fruits and vegetables are in demand across the world. Although some Afghan food processors and traders know how to properly store, sort, grade and package their…  


Solar Dryers: Less Work More Income

Agriculture is the main source of income for families living in the Farza and Istalif Districts of Kabul, as well as the Bagram District of Parwan. However, at harvest time, the oversupply of fresh…  


Growing Stronger and Stronger

Opium poppy cultivation is a double-edged sword for farmers in Afghanistan. The crop is highly labour-intensive, linked to criminal enterprises, corruption, and can have corrosive social consequences.…  


Going Green Helps Farmers to Prosper

Afghan farmers in the remote areas of the western Farah province face multiple and severe challenges to their livelihood. Frequent droughts and a lack of proper irrigation systems, along with the…  


Greenhouse Brings Income and Hope to a Struggling Village Family

Water does not reach the hills of Nangarhar, where the ground is barren and stony and life is harsh. 48 years ago, in the small village of Kuz Metakhil, local farmer Sawri was born into a country on…  


Greenhouses: A Ray of Hope for Rural Livelihoods in Afghanistan

Poppy cultivation involves a highly labor-intensive process requiring entire families to work, causing not only physical, but mental fatigue. Despite the hard work, the harvest still does not earn…  


Preventing the Prescription of Expired Medicine Enhances Public Health and Trust

In the past, doctors at the Shapola health centre in the Haska Meena district, Nangarhar have prescribed expired medication despite the potential health risk to patients.  


Persevering Volunteers Bring Safe Drinking Water to a Local Clinic

The Najmul-Qura CHC health centre, located in the densely populated Behsood district of Nangarhar province, can now provide its staff and patients with drinking water following a community health…  


Women’s Education and Empowerment Cannot be Put on Hold for the Pandemic

Mezhgan, a 25 year-old Afghan woman is a courageous person, and a star athlete, with a place on the Afghanistan women's national volleyball team. Today, together with 30 other young Afghan women, she…  


Windows of Happiness

‘Nafisa’ (name changed), a 42-year-old woman from Zinda Jan district in Herat, remembers the bad old days, when she could not feed herself, her husband, or their seven children.  


Environment Friendly Farming Improves Gender and Economic Equality for Women

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.  


Female Nurses in Demand: UNDP Trains 200+ Young Women to Save Lives in Rural Areas

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.  


“Better Health for a Better Life” Herat Multidrug-Resistant TB Ward Saves Lives

Abdul Majid’s mother was sick for ten years. However, because of limited access to health facilities in their remote village, she was not able to get the treatment she needed for her form of…  


Mission Impossible: Nazia and Her Dreams

“Who would marry a short girl like her? Look at her legs. Why did you come, it’s better you stayed at home.” This is what Nazia, who was born with a disability, hears from people whenever she goes…  


Another Chance at Life for Matiullah

Matiullah was two and a half years old, lying in her mother’s arms, when the rocket hit. Accompanied by a deafening blast, the ceiling collapsed on them in a shower of wood and earth. They could see…  


Toryalai: A Migrant’s Story

The day Toryalai Jaffary, an Afghan father of two, handed US$ 14,000 to a money changer in the market, for a people smuggler to take him to Europe, his life changed forever.  


A Bridge to a Better Future - One of Nearly 600 UNDP Transport Projects

Tucked in the valley is the village of Ghozo-Omerz. About 300 families live here but for a long time, their only access to the main road was a shaky bridge made of wood and pieces of metal. When the…  


When the Birds Return

In the early morning of a harsh Kabul winter, almost everything is frozen, including the surface of Kol-e-Hashmat Khan lake.  


A Success that Crosses Boundaries

A cross-border trade fair involving 45 entrepreneurs from Tajikistan and Afghanistan was held in October, and was a resounding success.  


Nilab’s Unwavering Spirit: Volunteering for Change

Imagine a situation where just going to school puts your life at risk. Under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, this was the situation for Nilab Aria and many others. In second grade, she had to be…  


Stoves that Save Lives and Trees

In small forest near Guldara district of Kabul, Shakila sits on a rock to rest after collecting wood for her cookstove. Her eyes water and she finds it hard to breathe, and a fit of coughing overcomes…  


Reasons to Bee Cheerful: Raising Incomes, and Letting Bees Do the Work

For Karima, one of the happiest moments of her life was when she earned her first thousand Afghani (US$ 15), when she sold a kilo of honey made from her own bee-keeping business.  


Water: The Gift of Life

All life on Earth depends on water. For those who grow crops to live, however, it is especially important. After decades of war, Afghanistan’s economy, and the lives of many of its people depend on…  


Out and About with UNDP’s Deputy Country Director

During the trip, Napoleon Navarro, UNDP’s Senior Deputy Country Director (programmes) visited several irrigation projects.  


From a TB Patient to a Health Worker

Twenty-eight-year-old Muhibullah is a tuberculosis (TB) survivor who has become a health worker after being cured of the illness. He has made it his mission to help other patients, and raise awareness…  


Female Pilot Encourages Afghan Girls to Let Their Dreams Take Flight

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…  


Playing to Win: Volleyball Champion Muzhgan Encourages Young Women to Fight for Their Dreams

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.  


Garden of Earthly Delights: a Better Life for Ishkashim Farmers

It is a sunny autumn day in Ishakashim valley in north-eastern Afghanistan. A 40-year old farmer, Amin, hoes the ground beneath the apple trees in his orchard. After he finishes each tree, he stands…  


High Water Everywhere: Flood Protection in Shade Bara

Two years ago, Usman Noorzai was standing in his village of Shade Bara when he heard a rumbling sound. “We looked up, and saw tremendous flood waters coming down from the mountains. We were fixated…  

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