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Afghanistan

A landlocked country in south-central Asia, Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Mountains cover most of the landscape, with plains in the north and southwest.

  • Population: 31,822,848
  • Life Expectancy: 61 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 61%
  • School Enrollment: 61%
  • Land Mass: 251,827 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 28%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 99/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 570

Facts about Afghanistan

Child labor is becoming more widespread in Afghanistan, where more than 1.5 million children work to support their families. Despite international economic and humanitarian aid, the number of child laborers continues to grow in the war-torn country.

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood and subsistence for roughly 75 percent of the Afghan population. Facilitating agriculture is a crucial step to enhance food security and drive economic growth for the entire country.

Around 35 percent of the population is unemployed, and 40 percent of the population is below the poverty line.

Afghanistan flag

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World Vision in Afghanistan Today

World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Afghanistan to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. Highlights of World Vision’s programs include:

  • Training hundreds of health professionals such as doctors, nurses, community midwives, and health workers, and enabling them to inform and promote practices that improve health in communities.
  • Working with at-risk groups and their families to prevent the spread of HIV and providing basic treatment and support to affected people.
  • Providing uniforms and school kits to students and teachers.
  • Working with communities to establish educational programs that help prepare young children for entry into school.
  • Educating midwives to help reduce infant mortalities and protect maternal health.
  • Helping widows, the disabled, and the landless obtain methods to establish an income.

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World Vision History in Afghanistan

World Vision began relief efforts in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

  • Helping communities rebuild economic stability through cash-for-work programs.
  • Increasing children’s access to education by repairing school facilities, building new classrooms, and training teachers.
  • Improving farming and irrigation techniques to strengthen rural communities.
  • Digging wells to provide families with safe, clean water.

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Geography & People

 

Geography and people

A landlocked country in south-central Asia, Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Mountains cover most of the landscape, with plains in the north and southwest.

The climate varies according to elevation; high elevations have colder temperatures while low elevations are mild year-round.

Natural resources include natural gas, petroleum, coal, zinc, copper, talc, lead, iron ore, salt, and precious and semiprecious stones.

The Pashtun people make up about 42 percent of Afghanistan’s population, while smaller ethnic groups make up the rest. Nearly 85 percent of Afghans speak the two official languages, Afghan Persian (or Dari) and Pashto. Afghans also speak more than 30 other minor languages.

History

Afghanistan gained independence from British control in 1919. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, starting a long civil war. In the decade of Soviet occupation, more than 1.5 million Afghans were killed, while another 5 million fled the country.

After anti-communist mujahedin armies forced out the communist regime in 1992, the various rebel groups began fighting one another for control. The Taliban seized control of Kabul in 1996 and controlled most of the country by 2000.

The Taliban government fell in 2001, and Afghans held their first presidential elections in 2004, with national assembly elections in 2005. The new government continues to build, but a rising Taliban threat and instability in the south and east endanger growth.

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Prayer Requests for Afghanistan

  • That prospects would increase for peace and prosperity, and that World Vision staff members would have wisdom to operate safely and effectively in uncertain conditions.
  • That World Vision would positively impact the lives of people we come into contact with, including donors, government officials, other agencies, and most importantly, the in which communities we work.