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EMERGENCY ALERT

Life is dire for children in Afghanistan, one year since the Taliban took control. They’re facing extreme hunger, exploitation and loss of education. Girls, especially, are more likely to be out of school, at risk of child marriage and going to bed hungry. It’s a humanitarian catastrophe.

 Our teams are on the ground in Afghanistan, as they have been for over 40 years, to support communities and protect children's rights. Your donation today can help save lives.

Help Save Children in Afghanistan

Afghan children have known nothing but conflict their entire lives. Today, a year since the Taliban took power, they’re facing extreme hunger and being forced out of school, into labor. The situation for girls is especially concerning.

Girls are more than twice as likely to be out of school, and nearly twice as likely to be going to bed hungry compared to boys. One in every 20 girls has been asked to marry.

Save the Children has been helping in Afghanistan for over 40 years. Our resolve to help has never been stronger. Through Save the Children’s political advocacy arm – Save the Children Action Network – we are building bipartisan urge the U.S. Government to protect the futures of families in Afghanistan. 

The Challenges for Children in Afghanistan

There is not a single child in Afghanistan today that has not grown up amidst conflict.

Chronic conflict and political instability have strained Afghanistan throughout its modern history. Extreme natural disasters, especially droughts, have only made matters worse, thrusting the country's economy and infrastructure into ruins and its people into extreme poverty.

Afghanistan is among the worst conflict-affected countries to be a child. Tragically, millions of Afghan children are growing up in high-intensity conflict zones, forcing many families to flee. Over half of the world's refugees come from three countries – Afghanistan ranks second, at 2.7 million.

  • 1 child in 16 dies before their 5th birthday, 3 times that of the U.S.
  • 19.7 million children and adults – almost 50% of the population – are going hungry
  • 5 million children are one step away from famine
  • 27% of children are engaged in child labor, instead of learning
  • 55% of people live in poverty
Map of Afghanistan

Our Results for Children in Afghanistan

Save the Children provides health, education, child protection, nutrition and livelihood services, reaching over 1.6 million Afghans . 
Two girls kneel on the floor of a classroom in Afghanistan while smiling.

  • 376,000 children aided in crisis
  • 241,000 children educated and empowered
  • 93,000 children healthy and nourished
  • 36,000 children protected from harm
  • 187,000 children lifted from poverty

A History of Our Work for Children in Afghanistan

Thanks to your generosity, Save the Children has been a leading charity in Afghanistan since 1976, with the aim to ensure children can grow up healthy, educated and safe.

The targeting of nongovernmental organizations – such as the January 2018 attack on our office in Jalalabad – makes our work difficult and dangerous. So we’re bolstering our emergency preparedness and protection, ensuring systems are in place to keep our staff safe and continue our urgent work.

Together with local communities, government ministries and partners, we’re working to improve children’s physical and emotional health, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, education, protection, food security and livelihoods.

We’re improving the delivery of crucial health and nutrition services to underserved communities. We’ve made great progress in leading community-based education, recognized as a key solution for out-of-school children. Protection remains central to our work, and we’re increasing the scope and quality of our programs. We reach hundreds of thousands of children through our humanitarian programs each year. And we continue to give children a voice to ensure that their rights, such as girls’ education, are guaranteed.

Here are some recent examples of our work:

A healthy start in life

  • Save the Children is training health care workers and supporting government health initiatives
  • In underserved communities, we’re supporting rural health centers and mobile health teams and raising awareness on proper health, sanitation and hygiene practices
  • To treat malnourished children, we’re operating therapeutic feeding sites and providing nutrition education
  • We recently integrated mental health support into our health and nutrition programs

The opportunity to learn

  • We’re working with the education ministry to establish community-based and accelerated classes, with the goal of returning children to school by grade 7
  • Through our community-based early childhood care and development centers, we’re supporting early cognitive development so crucial for lifelong learning
  • We’re advocating for early education, and we were instrumental in drafting the first-ever national preschool curriculum
  • We recently introduced our proven Numeracy Boost approach in multiple schools, including teacher training
  • We provided training in vision and hearing screening, as well as in adapting classrooms to better serve children with disabilities
  • We’re providing innovative information technology that allows teachers to share knowledge, experiences, challenges and best practices

Protection from harm

  • We’re working to reduce the number of children involved in harmful child labor, improving access to protective environments and supporting youth and families by offering social services and vocational training
  • We’re advocating for children’s rights and building the capacity for child protection at the government and community levels
  • Our teams are actively engaging communities in changing behaviors and attitudes so children’s rights are observed and respected
  • Through sponsorship, we collaborated with the government to develop the Child Rights in Islam handbook and engaged religious leaders to proactively promote child rights and protection
  • We welcomed the endorsement by presidential decree of the Law for the Protection of Child Rights and continue to advocate for its implementation

How to Help Children in Afghanistan

You can create change that lasts a lifetime for children in Afghanistan – in so many ways.

Donate to the Afghanistan Crisis Children's Relief Fund
Donate to help provide desperately needed relief to Afghan children and refugees.

Shop Gift Catalog
Give a meaningful gift that will help transform children’s lives and futures in Afghanistan and beyond. There’s something for everyone!

Sources: Facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts, as well as our thought leadership publications. Other sources include CIA World Factbook and BBC Country Profiles.

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