Afghanistan remains one of the countries in the world most heavily polluted with landmines and explosive remnants of war. According to the Landmine Monitor, more than 600km2 of land is thought to be contaminated.
A man supported by HI to set up a shop | © J-P. Porcher / HI
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Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has been active in Afghanistan since 1987. In 1996, HI built a rehabilitation centre in Kandahar for people with disabilities, including landmine victims. The centre provides physiotherapy services - including a workshop for manufacturing prostheses and orthoses. It also distributes mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs etc.). Landmine victims and people with disabilities requiring care are referred to the centre thanks to a network of volunteers trained by HI.
Over the years, HI has improved service delivery and provided capacity-building for local actors, and is now moving forward by helping the Government of Afghanistan develop a curriculum and training courses for physiotherapy professionals and prosthesis and orthosis technicians, based on recognised international standards.
Current projects also support local stakeholders to promote the rights of people with disabilities including CW/IED (Conventional Weapons/Improvised Explosive Devices) survivors, with the aim of giving them a voice and having their needs acknowledged by political leaders or organisations with the potential to run development projects in the country.
Situation of the country
Despite the extensive involvement of the international community, Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is also one of the world’s most mined countries and one of the most prone to natural disasters. Many people continue to suffer from insecurity, poor housing and limited access to drinking water, electricity, medical care, education and employment.
Afghanistan is a mountainous country on the Asian continent. It is prone to adverse weather conditions (droughts and floods) and is located in an active earthquake zone (Hindu Kush region).
In 2016, there were over 1,900 accidents caused by mines, explosive devices and explosive remnants of war. The majority of the casualties identified were civilians, 42% of them children.
War, insecurity due to daily acts of violence, and drought have driven more than 2.6 million Afghans into exile. Within the country itself, 1,5 million people have been displaced – more than 600,000 left their homes in 2016.