Refugees and internally displaced people

We equip displaced women, men and young people in Afghanistan with the tools and skills they need to launch sustainable enterprises to help them rebuild their lives

Our work with displaced people 


Political upheaval, natural disasters and the breakdown of the banking system has pushed millions of Afghans into food insecurity. For internally displaced people and former refugees (returnees) the situation is much worse. Displaced people haven’t just lost their homes, they will also have lost their jobs, savings, possessions and a vital support network of family and friends. 

Half a million people have been internally displaced as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan. A further three quarters of a million people have returned from Iran and Pakistan, where they had been living as refugees.  

With widespread unemployment across the country, displaced people must overcome enormous odds just to provide food and shelter for their families, let alone rebuild their lives. 

Our solution

By establishing savings groups and providing a mix of vocational and business skills training, we enable displaced people to launch businesses that stand the test of time, as well as ensuring their families have enough to eat. We prioritise two groups:

  • Women: 70% of the people we support are women. The types of businesses they run include poultry farming, tailoring, embroidery, shopkeeping and beekeeping.
  • Internally displaced people and returnees: Around 60% of the people we work with are internally displaced and 20% will have returned to Afghanistan after living as refugees in another country. 

Our partnerships

Over the last 12 years, Hand in Hand has lifted over 390,000 Afghans out of poverty, through the creation of 50,000 sustainable microenterprises. Now, the need in Afghanistan is more urgent than ever.

We have partnered with foundations, companies, private individuals and bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies including GIZ, Danida and OCHR to deliver development projects as well as, more recently, short-term humanitarian aid.

Our primary focus is on creating sustainable routes out of poverty for those who are most at risk. Find out more about partnering with us here. 

Our impact at a glance


Amount per dollar earned that men spend on their families and communities


Amount per dollar earned that women spend on their families and communities


Average female labour participation rate in Hand in Hand countries


Female participation rate in Hand in Hand Self-Help Groups

Success stories

Sharifa, Afghanistan 

Giving a community peace of mind during the Covid crisis. 

Zakira, Afghanistan

“This poultry farm saved me from the worries of life”, says mum-of-five Zakira. 

Rozi-Khal, Afghanistan

A former refugee turned poultry farmer who can now provide for her children.