Afghanistan Humanitarian Aid for Children

Where We Work - Aghanistan

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Afghanistan’s turbulent modern history has been shaped by decades of internal conflict and extreme natural disasters, especially drought. With an estimated population of 30 million, this landlocked country at the historical crossroads of Central Asia is extremely poor and highly dependent on foreign aid as it struggles to rebuild. After years of war and severe poverty, combined with poor security, the country is considered to be among the most dangerous places for children to be born. 

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Our results in Afghanistan

  • We kept 62,628 children safe from harm.
  • More than 332,700 children got the opportunity to learn.
  • In times of crisis, 302,697 children received emergency relief.
  • More than 124,930 children had a healthy start in life.
  • To fight malnutrition, nearly 285,805 received nutritious food and vital supplements.
  • To help parents feed their children, 62,300 received support to start businesses, improve farming practices and invest in their children’s futures.

Challenges for Children

The challenges are daunting, especially for children and women. Even though political and economic uncertainty and personal and community insecurity still exist in much of Afghanistan, Save the Children is committed to helping Afghan families and communities.

For almost 30 years Afghan children have been affected by conflict. Only half of children are in school today, many work in the streets or in fields and homes to support their families. Children in Afghanistan face one of the worst chances of survival of anywhere in the world. One in four children dies before their fifth birthday, most of them from preventable diseases and malnutrition.

Emergency Relief and Recovery

Nearly 3 million people in Afghanistan are affected by a drought that has caused crops to fail, leaving many in a constant struggle to feed their children and families. Save the Children is working hand in hand with public and private partners to help avert a child hunger crisis.

Parents need support to buy food for their children as they cannot depend on fall harvests to feed their families. Save the Children is advancing a plan to temporarily employ parents of children in need on projects to improve local reservoirs, agricultural canals and other critical drought-related projects.

Impact and Programs

Child Protection: Save the Children fights for children’s right to protection. We work closely with local communities, religious leaders, parents, teachers and the government to create and help maintain measures and structures that can prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence affecting children.

Health: Save the Children works with families, communities and health care workers in homes, health posts, clinics and hospitals to promote basic health, well-being and survival, particularly for children under age 5 and for women of childbearing age. In addition to government healthcare leaders and administrators, we train and support community health workers living in some of the poorest and most remote areas in Afghanistan.

Education: For many children in Afghanistan, being beaten and humiliated is a daily reality. Afghanistan still legally permits teachers to physically punish children. Save the Children works to change that and to provide successful models of violence-free schools that can be used all over the country.

Afghanistan Facts and Statistics

  • Population: 31,822,848
  • Infant Death Rate: 98.5 in 1,000 live births
  • Life Expectancy: 50.5
  • Underweight Children: 32.9%
  • Human Development Rank: 169 out of 187 countries
  • Maternal Death Risk: 1 in 32 women
  • Girls' Education: 9.5 years
  • Income per capita: 680 (USD)


Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2014 State of the World’s Mothers report.You can access detailed data here.

Other sources as follows: Population and Life Expectancy: CIA World Factbook 2014; Human Development Rank: United Nations Development Programme 2014; Underweight Children: World Health Organization Report 2014

Last Updated June 2014

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