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03 Nov 2018 description
report Medair

On a sweeping hillside in Afghanistan’s Central Highlands, we met up with Delara and her husband Ezatullah as they were weeding a large kitchen garden next to their home. “We have spinach, leeks, tomatoes, coriander, cabbage, squash, green peppers, and more!” exclaimed Delara.

29 Aug 2018 description
report Medair

Imagine you have no choice but to abandon your home and flee from violence. You see family members die, you lose dear friends and neighbors. You emerge in a strange place and try to survive on your own without your possessions.

Now imagine doing that as a child. You’d grow up fast, whether you like it or not.

Conflict puts children at risk

27 Jun 2017 description
report Medair

By Katherine, Medair Relief Worker

16 Feb 2017 description
report Medair

The Emergency: When a crop infestation destroyed the harvest of many farmers in the Central Highlands, thousands of families were left with little to no food stored for winter. Without immediate action, their livelihoods and lives were at risk. The Mission: Travel to extremely remote mountainous areas to reach vulnerable families with aid before the winter snow makes the roads impassable. Katherine, a relief worker with Medair in Afghanistan, shares her experience…

Early November 2016

03 Aug 2016 description
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“This is SO much farther than the extra mile,” laughed Danielle, a Medair relief worker in Afghanistan. Out the window of her truck, she saw steep orange-brown hills rising up on either side. This was day two of a field trip with Medair to reach remote communities in the Central Highlands, and what a journey is was – through thick mud, deep snow, and treacherous roads.

11 May 2016 description
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Raihan and her father Karim always have a hard time growing crops in their home village, where the altitude is 3,000 metres, and the land is often affected by flooding and droughts.

02 Apr 2015 description
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Water is one of the most important resources on earth, but only one in four people in Afghanistan’s Central Highlands has access to safe water.

Last year we received a call from the principal of a very remote school in the Central Highlands. More than 800 students attended his school, but they had no safe water or toilets. “The students are absent because they are sick,” he told us. “They get lots of diseases and have to go to hospital.”

16 Mar 2015 description
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When we first met Wahida, she was 15 months old and weighed far less than she should. She had diarrhoea and was anaemic. Zarghana, her mother, was desperately worried.

“Sometimes we don’t eat,” said Zarghana. “My husband doesn’t always have daily wages to give us, and the clinics are far away.” Zarghana’s family lives in southern Afghanistan, a hotspot of conflict for decades. Hundreds of thousands of people like Zarghana have fled their homes to seek safety in informal settlements or living with relatives in other communities.

25 Sep 2014 description
report Medair

Mastana, 60, had never tasted lettuce before in her life. Living in an isolated mountain village in remote Afghanistan, Mastana’s diet hasn’t changed throughout her life. Daily meals consist of wheat, barley, yoghurt (from sheep’s milk), potatoes, and rice. Meat is a rare treat, while fruit and vegetables are almost unheard of.

That’s an all-too-common diet in this dry, high-altitude region, but one that lacks in vital nutrients and can contribute to poor health and malnutrition.

03 Jun 2013 description
report Medair

Decreasing crop yields, repeated natural disasters, and environmental degradation resulting in severe food shortages are causing many people in the Central Highlands to flee their homes. Despite peace and security in the area, many can no longer cope.

One farmer commented on the situation: "For years, no other NGO has come to see us or tried to help."

12 Mar 2013 description
report Medair

In 2011, severe drought in Bamyan and Wardak provinces caused massive losses for vulnerable families subsisting off the land. Families lost as much as half their harvests and one quarter of their livestock.

Since that time, families have been struggling to recover from such substantial losses. Their household debts have risen sharply, borrowing money to pay for food and provisions, and forcing family members to leave for work in other cities or countries.

10 Oct 2012 description
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On 9 October 2012, Pictet announced that Medair has been chosen to receive support as part of the Prix Pictet Commission, with photographer Simon Norfolk being sent to Medair’s project in Afghanistan’s Central Highlands to capture images the world rarely sees.

Every year, the Prix Pictet Commission aims to draw attention to issues of sustainability with a focus on neglected communities that face social and environmental threats.

04 Oct 2012 description
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Medair expands its relief programme in Central Highlands to help struggling communities recover from drought, flooding, and poor access to water and sanitation.

Communities in the Central Highlands are extremely vulnerable to flooding, drought, and harsh weather conditions at the high altitudes. Furthermore, flash floods in 2010, severe drought in 2011, and a harsh winter in 2012 have pushed many families to the edge of their capacity to cope. Despite serious needs, few organisations are active in this remote area to provide families with assistance.

27 Jul 2012 description
report Medair

Medair returns to working with remote communities in Bamyan province, continuing its transformative water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) project. On 11 July, a determined Medair WASH team resumed work in Bamyan province after Medair re-opened its operations in the region in the wake of May’s abduction incident in Badakhshan province. The WASH team is building safe water points in remote villages and schools, constructing latrines, and improving awareness of health and hygiene.

02 Jun 2012 description
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Medair can confirm the safe release of the four staff members who were kidnapped on May 22nd in Afghanistan.

The Medair team was abducted when visiting relief nutrition, hygiene and health project sites in Badakhshan province. The team consisted of British national Helen Johnston, age 28, Kenyan national Moragwa Oirere, age 26, and two local Afghan staff.

24 May 2012 description
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On May 22, four Medair relief workers were abducted by a group of armed men during a visit to relief project sites in Badakhshan province, Afghanistan.

"Medair is working closely with the relevant authorities and doing all we can to secure the safe and swift release of our colleagues. We have informed the families and are in close contact with them. Our thoughts are with our colleagues and their families,” says Medair spokesperson, Aurélien Demaurex.

21 Mar 2012 description
report Medair

Afghanistan’s harshest winter in 15 years leaves families struggling to survive. A series of recent avalanches have killed more than 90 people in Badakhshan province, an extremely isolated mountain region in northeast Afghanistan.

While relief efforts continue to assist avalanche survivors, snowbound villages throughout the province also desperately need health care and nutrition as their food supplies run low and as increased cases of pneumonia and other illnesses ravage the population.

20 Jan 2012 description
report Medair

In 2011, experienced civil engineer Sieger Burger left his position at one of the Netherland’s largest construction companies to join the Medair team and work in Afghanistan’s remote communities.

Sieger soon began managing an innovative flood-response project in Bamyan province—one that has been highly successful and rewarding for thousands of vulnerable people.

20 Jan 2012 description
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Medair treated nearly 5,000 malnourished children and pregnant or breastfeeding women in 2011. In 2010, 191,000 Afghan children under five died (1). That’s a startling statistic—equivalent to more than 500 children dying every single day. Acute malnutrition was a leading contributor.

14 Dec 2011 description
report Medair

Medair helps families bridge the food gap and rebuild their communities after devastating flash floods destroyed their harvest.

In the summer of 2010, the worst flash floods in 50 years struck some of the most remote communities in Afghanistan’s Bamyan province. “The flood was taller than the trees,” said Sayed Rahin, 30, in the village of Kadalac. “The power of the water was incredible.”