Cordaid has been active in the country since 2001, aiming at a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. We work in six thematic areas: inclusive peace, security & justice, humanitarian aid, resilience, private sector development, and healthcare. In addition, we have a lobby & advocacy program supporting our work in these thematic areas including women, peace, and security.
Cordaid has specific activities in most provinces. These include security & justice with grassroots Provincial Women Networks in 15 provinces (Kabul, Parwan, Bamyan, Daikundi, Urozgan, Kandahar, Helmand, Herat, Faryab, Balkh, Kunduz, Badakhshan, Laghman, Nangarhar and Paktia); humanitarian aid in 9 provinces (Kabul, Bamyan, Urozgan, Kandahar, Ghor, Herat, Balkh, Kunduz and Nangarhar); resilience in Balkh; private sector development in Kabul, Herat, and Kandahar; healthcare in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh, and Nangarhar.
In addition, Cordaid undertakes national and international lobby & advocacy in four trajectories (health, inclusive and engendered peace, access to justice, and extractives) and helps operationalise the Afghan National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 by linking inclusive security and justice through close collaboration between the Country Office and the Global Office. Cordaid is decentralising its oversight and support from its main office in Kabul to regional field offices that are (being) set-up.
Afghanistan has suffered decades of war and conflict that have killed, displaced, and disrupted millions of lives. At the same time, the country is prone to natural hazards including droughts, floods, earthquakes, and harsh winters in its mountainous areas. Nevertheless, increased war fatigue has shifted Afghan and international attention toward a possible political settlement in 2020. Despite some promising developments, many issues lie ahead that must be resolved before a sustainable peace process can be realised and numerous issues could potentially derail this process. Meanwhile, living conditions are particularly challenging in rural areas, with women and children being the most vulnerable groups.
Cordaid in Afghanistan
Key Results 2019:
20 Kandahar Institute of Health Sciences (KIHS) lecturers and staff trained in management;
319students enrolled in midwifery, nursing, laboratory, and pharmacy schools in the KIHS.
Afghanistan has made strong and continued progress in the health sector over the last 15 years despite ongoing security concerns. At the national level Cordaid, together with other NGOs and CSOs working in the health sector, supports the Ministry of Public Health with advocating for Universal Health Coverage (UHC), domestic resource mobilisation, increase of the health sector budget, and improvement of government health service delivery. Lobby meetings and evidence-based advocacies are conducted with parliamentarians, government officials (including MoF and President’s Office), and donors accordingly.
In tackling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cordaid with funding from its private donors is strengthening the capacity of laboratories to undertake tests, raise awareness within communities, distribute hygiene kits and take other COVID-19 mitigation action to help slow down the virus in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh, and Nangarhar. This initiative also includes the distribution of food packages to vulnerable families in Kabul.
Video: Supporting the Health System in Afghanistan
Key Results 2019:
13,451people provided with sufficient and safe water;
15,213people benefited from unconditional and unrestricted cash;
8,099people benefited from conditional and restricted cash;
21,532 people received cash for winterization;
3,067people accessed basic, safe, and dignified shelter;
2,740 people received livelihood support
Afghanistan has one of the most protracted, complex, and high-risk humanitarian crises globally. A crisis that is likely to deteriorate further, as the country enters a period of increased political uncertainty. To address the lifesaving needs of the most vulnerable people, Cordaid provides (emergency) relief to those affected by conflict and/or natural disasters, the displaced and returning Afghans through the provision of food and short term livelihood support; shelter & NFIs; water and sanitation facilities; hygiene promotion; and multi-purpose cash.
This humanitarian assistance helps reduce the vulnerability of people in fragile, conflict, and natural disaster-affected locations. For instance, in Herat with German AA funding, Cordaid is helping IDPs, returnees, and host communities to address their most urgent food security, WASH, and shelter needs. In other provinces with funding from its private donors and UNOCHA (AHF), Cordaid has provided winterisation assistance and other humanitarian support to IDPs, returnees, and other vulnerable groups that include shelter (repair), WASH, and multi-purpose cash.
Video: Providing Humanitarian Aid in Afghanistan
Key Result 2019:
1728 members of 8 communities in the Sholgarah district of Balkh province enhanced their resilience through community-level resilience activities;
8 resilience-committees were established at the Sholgarah district of Balkh;
8 resilience action plans developed at the Sholgarah district of Balkh.
Communities in Afghanistan face continuing shocks from natural and manmade disasters. In order to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities, and to minimise their need to abandon their homes and livelihoods due to drought, floods, or other natural and manmade disasters, Cordaid has initiated livelihood and community-managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR) interventions. These include its CMDRR pilot project in the Sholgera district of Balkh province.
Video: Supporting Resilient Communities in Afghanistan
This project is funded by Cordaid’s private donors and aims to build and strengthen the resilience of eight communities by developing the skills and capacities that will enable them to increase resilience to disasters, environmental degradation and conflict risks. This approach will help these communities decrease their vulnerability through improved livelihood security, enhanced peaceful co-existence, and sustainable & inclusive community growth.
Video: Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction in Afghanistan
Private Sector Development
Key Result 2019:
135 youth jobseekers received work/job readiness training;
87 participating youths found a job;
83 internship agreements were made with Afghan employers;
141 young entrepreneurs were trained in starting a business;
338 jobs created by start-ups were established in the business incubation programme;
48 start-ups have registered their businesses;
36 small and medium enterprises – SMEs, provided with business development services.
Creating conditions for the emergence of a dynamic private sector that is capable of diversifying exports, creating jobs, and strengthening resilience is one of the most challenging and important issues facing Afghanistan. Cordaid is committed to playing its part through its implementation of the Bright Future programme funded by the Dutch Government. This project aims to create an (eco-system) environment for business start-ups and empower and link job seekers to the job market. It focuses on serving and enabling educated urban youth to find jobs and start-up or expand their own business.
In 2020, with funding from EU DEVCO and in partnership with NRC, Cordaid has initiated its support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to private sector development in Kandahar and Herat in close collaboration with the EZ KAR programme funded by the World Bank with a focus on IDPs and returnees.
Video: Developing the Private Sector in Afghanistan
Security and Justice
Key Result 2019:
33 multi-stakeholder policy dialogues and follow-up;
462 women are capable of collecting data for monitoring women’s peace and security;
91 advocacy activities/event organized;
304 (social) media activities organized in supporting women’s inclusion and implementation of NAP 1325.
Afghanistan is taking important steps towards building a stable, lawful, and democratic state. We contribute by forging long‐term partnerships that focus on the meaningful participation of women in peace and decision-making processes, and by boosting access to justice for all. In doing so, we engage with local authorities, create a common security and justice agenda and aim to restore and build trust in and between communities. Through our projects funded by the Dutch government, we empower women to undertake evidence-based lobbying & advocacy to generate positive changes in society. We also empower communities to gain access to formal and informal justice processes and engage with the judicial system as appropriate.
Video: Working on Security and Justice in Afghanistan
With funding from Dutch Government and from Global Affairs Canada, Cordaid has been actively involved in lobbying and advocating for inclusive and engendered peace at the international level and within Afghanistan at local, provincial, and national levels. It pursues the meaningful inclusion and empowerment of urban and rural women in the Intra Afghan peace process and facilitates logistics accordingly. Through a core group of women from different provinces, an advisory committee and a circle of allies, and in close consultation with UNAMA, USIP, and other peacebuilding practitioners, it keeps the pressure on for national and international stakeholders to preserve the gains made since 2001, most particularly those related to equal rights and opportunities for women and girls.
Video: Inclusive and Engendered Peace in Afghanistan
Strategic Partnership for Lobby & Advocacy
Key result 2019:
184 Afghan civil society organizations (CSOs) increased their lobby and advocacy capacities;
48 campaigns were conducted to influence policy dialogue;
25 networks with increased capacities to coordinate joint actions;
565 communities have been involved in lobby and advocacy initiatives;
132 lobby and advocacy meetings conducted with decision-makers.
In its pursuit of an effective social contract between the Government of Afghanistan and its citizens, Cordaid is focused on strengthening the influence of local communities in an integrated manner through local, national and international lobbying and advocacy with a specific focus on women, youth, and marginalized groups. It is doing so in all thematic areas in which Cordaid operates in Afghanistan with particular attention being paid to the Strategic Partnership on Dissent & Dialogue with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for strengthening social contracts between the Afghan community and state/government.
These activities focus on enabling health systems reforms, access to justice, inclusive & engendered peace, and extractives. In doing so, Cordaid is strengthening Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at the national and provincial levels in order to create an enabling environment and civic space for dialogue between the government, communities, and CSOs to influence policies that help strengthen the social contract in Afghanistan. Cordaid promotes civil movements and discussions accordingly.