Abdul Rahim Nasry
Country Director, Hand in Hand Afghanistan
Abdul Rahim Nasry knows first-hand the struggles faced by Hand in Hand’s members. In 1982, as the Soviet war in Afghanistan spread across the country, a 16-year-old Nasry fled his native Parwan Province to neighbouring Pakistan. Far from home and with little hope of returning, he and his family had no choice but to start from scratch.
“My schooling in Parwan was interrupted by the fighting, so I completed my last year of high school at the refugee school in Peshawar,” he says.
Twenty-two years, two degrees and several program management jobs later, Nasry moved back to Afghanistan with his wife and five children to help rebuild the country, managing an education training programme for US non-profit Management Sciences for Health before taking control of the Afghan government’s National Skills Development Program. A subsequent stint as Strategic Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Labour Affairs – where he helped shape government policy on vocational training, employment strategy and job creation – led Nasry to Hand in Hand Afghanistan, which he joined as Country Director in early-2012. Today, 38,000 enterprises and 44,000 jobs have been created in some of the country’s most heard-to-reach post-conflict areas. Major new funding was also secured from the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust and the Delegation of the European Commission to Afghanistan.
“Security has been a big challenge for us as it makes travelling to and between rural areas costly and risky,” Nasry told The Guardian in 2013. “However… unemployment is a key reason for people fighting, so we see our job creation as having a positive impact on security.”
Abdul Rahim Nasry is available to speak to the media about security, development and job creation in Afghanistan. To arrange an interview, or to speak with another one of our experts, please contact Ann Dickinson.
Abdul Rahim Nasry in the media
Nasry spoke at the 2013 Cambridge International Development Conference , and was profiled in the Guardian’ View from the Top.