Featured Stories | Stories

Global Day of Parents: Honoring Afghanistan’s Caregivers

Medair wants to celebrate the Global Day of Parents by honoring parents throughout Afghanistan who go above and beyond in making sacrifices for their children. We are highlighting this day at a time when mothers and fathers throughout Afghanistan are confronting various challenges. Climate change has had an immense impact on this country, including recent flash floods amidst arid mountainous areas affected by prolonged drought. Decades of destructive conflicts have eroded the pillars of the country’s economy and resulted in abject poverty for two thirds of the Afghan population.1 For Afghan parents, this has hindered the ability for them to provide for their children’s basic essential needs including adequate and nutritious food, safe drinking water, access to healthcare, and education. 15.8 million people (nearly 40 percent of the population) are experiencing acute food insecurity, according to the World Food Programme.2 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that 3.7 million children are out of school, of whom 60 percent are girls.3 The mortality and morbidity rate in children under five has 57.7 babies dying out of 1000 live births, according to UNICEF.4

A teenage boy transporting items on donkeys in the arid mountains of Southern Afghanistan. ©Medair

It has been almost three decades since 1996 when Medair first became active in Afghanistan. Since then, Medair has been bringing relief to people living in some of the most remote and difficult-to-reach areas in the country. Medair is actively working to ensure that vulnerable communities have access to safe drinking water. Moreover, through its cash for food assistance, Medair enables parents to provide adequate food for their children. Dawood, a member of a vulnerable community who received cash for food assistance, told us, “Our problems include poverty, drought; there is no water, or work opportunities. Due to poverty, half of the population has migrated. There is no appropriate food, but only a piece of bread and tea. With the cash assistance provided by Medair, I will purchase chickpeas, beans, cooking oil. If possible, I will buy fruits, vegetables, grains, and other food items to be cooked. This will help my children avoid malnutrition, and will enable us to consume nutritious food. I thank Medair for the assistance that has filled us with hope for our future.”

Dawood, father of a household from the Central Highlands of Afghanistan, participated in Medair’s Cash for Food program. ©Medair

Thanks to Medair’s dedicated female medical staff, Medair is making extensive efforts to provide healthcare services to pregnant and lactating women and children under five. Many of these diligent female doctors and nurses are mothers who simultaneously look after their families and provide crucial healthcare for the communities in which they work. Fathers and mothers are also doing their part to ensure that their children receive essential healthcare in times of need. Zahra, a mother from Central Afghanistan, came to one of Medair’s health facilities bringing her 11-month-old son Idres. She told us “It is more than one and a half hours journey to this clinic. We walked and came to this clinic in hope of receiving treatment.” Both the mother and child received essential healthcare services from Medair.

Zahra, a woman who attended a Medair clinic, is pictured holding her son, Idres, at the health facility. ©Medair

A group of boys wave at the camera. The boys were on their way to school (visible in the background) in the Central Highlands of Afghanistan in March 2024. ©Medair

On this Global Day of Parents, we the Medair Afghanistan team would like to honor all the hardworking and caring mothers and fathers across the globe. Thank you for all that you do to care for your children!

 


 

Pseudonyms are used for all characters mentioned in the article.

  1. Afghanistan Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan 2024 (December 2023) [EN/Dari/PS]
  2. Annual Country Report 2023 Afghanistan
  3. Providing quality education for all
  4. Afghanistan