Tackling Hunger and Unemployment in Afghanistan

Tackling Hunger and Unemployment in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is situated in Central Asia bordering Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Afghanistan is a landlocked country and depends on land transit routes. As of September 2021, Afghanistan was confronted with a severe hunger crisis and a significant unemployment rate that resulted from a combination of issues such as political instability, conflict, drought, floods, and the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the United Nations, approximately 18 million individuals – nearly half of the Afghan population – required assistance in 2021 and 2022. According to preliminary estimates, nearly 20 million people are projected to be acutely food-insecure between November 2022 and March 2023, including more than 6 million people in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency).

Due to the continued instability and conflict in the country, businesses have found it difficult to operate. This has contributed to high unemployment in the country, with 30% of the people unemployed.

With the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021, the situation has become more uncertain, and many Afghans are anxious about their safety and the future. The new government still needs to determine how to address the country’s urgent humanitarian needs, such as hunger and unemployment. Approximately 28.3 million people, two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population, require multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance in 2023.

Human Concern International (HCI), a global charity founded in Canada, has a substantial presence in Afghanistan. HCI helps to manage and address the impact of various crises by mobilizing resources. This includes implementing challenge-specific solutions in collaboration with local partners. HCI works to address the root causes of poverty and hunger in countries of its intervention, including Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, HCI implements a range of programs aimed at improving food security, nutrition, and livelihoods for vulnerable communities.

Human Concern International’s intervention in Afghanistan:

  1. Emergency food assistance: HCI responds to humanitarian emergencies in Afghanistan by providing food assistance to those in need. This includes distributing food baskets and other essential items to families affected by conflict, displacement, or natural disasters.
  2. Vocational Training Centers: HCI operates vocational training in Afghanistan that offer courses in a range of fields, including tailoring, computer skills, carpentry skills, mobile phone repair, and mechanical skills. These training centers provide hands-on, practical training to individuals to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to enter the workforce or start their businesses.
  3. Food baskets: HCI provides vulnerable families with food baskets. The baskets contain nutritious food to prevent the devastating consequences of hunger and malnutrition, such as stunting, wasting, and increased susceptibility to disease, and as well the aim is for the families to meet their basic needs, maintain their health and well-being, and recover from the impacts of the crisis.


HCI partnered with a local partner to implement skills training and a food package distribution project. The project was implemented in Kabul, Laghman, Kandahar, Nuristan, and Nangarhar. Throughout the project’s implementation, HCI offered beneficiaries the chance to acquire vocational or professional training and distributed crucial food supplies.

Beneficiary working in a motorcycle mechanic shop, to maintain their livelihood.

Food packages were carefully prepared to provide adequate sustenance for the beneficiaries’ families, thus allowing them to focus on their skills and learning without having to concern themselves with their family’s well-being. The beneficiaries received vocational skills training that encompassed motorcycle and car mechanics, carpentry, and tailoring. This training was customized to meet the unique needs and interests of each beneficiary.

The successful implementation of the project resulted in the beneficiaries breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. By providing families with the opportunity to learn skills in their chosen fields, their prospects were enhanced. Consequently, their income has increased, and many have found employment after acquiring new skills and professions. In addition, some have even been able to start their micro-businesses.

Beneficiaries use the skills and equipment provided by HCI, sewing clothes to maintain their livelihood.

HCI has made significant strides toward reducing global poverty through the successful implementation of such projects. Making progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) One, which aims to eradicate poverty, SDG Two, which aims to eliminate hunger, and SDG Eight, which aims to promote decent work and economic growth, HCI has made an impactful contribution. This project has been especially critical for the people of Afghanistan during a time of political and economic turmoil. The project provided beneficiaries with food security and a sustainable source of income, enabling them to support themselves and their families.

HCI remains committed to supporting vulnerable communities in Afghanistan through the implementation of projects that address their food security concerns and provide durable solutions to their problems. This supports HCI’s ultimate objective to facilitate the transition of individuals and families around the world from crisis to sustainability.

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