Hand in Hand Afghanistan expanding with grant from EU

30 Apr 2014

Now is a crucial time for Afghanistan.

Already, the country is in the process of electing its first new president after 12 years under Hamid Karzai. By the end of the year, with the whole world watching, that president will oversee the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force, inheriting main responsibility for the country’s security for the first time in just as long.

Despite uncertainty over Afghanistan’s future – or indeed because of it – Hand in Hand is committed to remaining in the country. In fact, we’re expanding our reach thanks to a game-changing US $1.16 million (€840 K) grant from the European Union. Launched in February 2014, the deal marks a series of milestones for Hand in Hand:

  • Our first grant from the European Union.
  • Our first time working in Samangan Province, bordering Hand in Hand Afghanistan’s most developed operation in the province of Balkh. Samangan offers relatively stable security, support from local stakeholders and, given the absence of similar programmes in the region, the opportunity to make a transformative impact.

We’re also introducing a number of upgrades adapted to suit Afghan conditions:

  • Literacy and numeracy training.
  • Vocational training and toolkits for in-demand skills such as beekeeping, silkworm rearing and motorcycle repair. Farming productivity in Afghanistan has fallen by half during 30 years of near-continuous war.
  • Shari’a-friendly microfinance. Profitable lending is prohibited by Islamic law, causing most microfinance institutions to avoid Afghanistan. To help plug the gap we’re bringing our successful Enterprise Incubation Fund to the country.

Estimated results at the end of the project

Blue-Business-So-Far for news story

5,400 small businesses will have been created


8,100 sustainable jobs will have been generated


Some 56,700 family members will have benefited