Hand in Hand Afghanistan: record expansion with UK aid from the British people

01 Apr 2015

Hand in Hand Afghanistan is embarking on its biggest-ever expansion thanks to UK aid from the British people.

Funded by the UK government, the three-year, US $2.2 million grant aims to improve the livelihoods of 13,300 rural entrepreneurs in Sar-e Pol province, 70 percent of them women. Some 9,500 microbusinesses and 13,300 jobs will be created.

“Now more than ever, government and civil society must work together for a safe, prosperous future in Afghanistan,” said Hand in Hand International CEO Josefine Lindänge. “This grant, our largest yet from a government partner, is a significant step in that direction.”

Hand in Hand is contributing an additional US $1 million to the project, bringing the overall budget to US $3.2 million. The funds come at a critical time. Last year, conflict killed 3,699 Afghan civilians and injured another 6,849 – a 22 percent jump from 2013, and the most since the UN began keeping records in 2009.

The causes of violence in Afghanistan are myriad and complex, but there is no doubt that poverty and joblessness play a crucial role. In a global survey conducted by the World Bank in 2011, 40 percent of insurgents interviewed said unemployment and idleness were their principle reasons for fighting. By providing business and skills training to thousands of Afghans, Hand in Hand and DFID are tackling poverty, and violence, at its roots.

For more information about the programme, please contact Programme Manager Agnes Svensson.