According to the United Nations, nine out of 10 people in Afghanistan do not have enough food to eat and extreme poverty is near-universal. Agriculture remains the backbone of Afghanistan’s economy. USAID assistance improves food security and nutrition, increases domestic production, relieves economic stress on vulnerable households, and gives farmers the knowledge, training, and tools to sustainably feed their communities. We help increase cultivation and production of crops such as wheat, beans, fruits, and vegetables. We also help make the livestock and dairy sectors more efficient and profitable for farmers by providing resources such as animal feed and seeds.
- In 2022, USAID facilitated $1.9 million in working capital advances for Afghan businesses, staving off some of the negative impacts of ongoing liquidity challenges. Afghan businesses have struggled to find liquid assets since the Taliban takeover and have limited means to maintain operations. Thanks to capital advances, businesses are better able to retain staff, pay salaries, and purchase raw materials, ensuring continuity of operations.
- During the first two weeks of January, 2023, USAID surpassed its goal of placing 20,000 Afghans in apprenticeships at 222 Afghan businesses in the carpets, humanitarian goods, cashmere, and saffron industries since April 2022. More than 15,000 apprentices are women. According to the World Bank, nearly 40 percent of Afghans live in poverty and unemployment remains high. Afghan workers, particularly women, are struggling to find employment and businesses lack skilled labor to meet demand. The apprenticeship program responds to these challenges, giving Afghans new skills so they are better placed to earn an income when their apprenticeships end while also helping businesses find the skilled labor they need to continue operations.
- USAID assistance to 28 carpet and jewelry businesses has helped create nearly 19,000 jobs for Afghan women. According to an October 2022 report by the United Nations Development Program, more than half a million jobs have disappeared since August 2021. The report highlights that the the Taliban's move to restrict women from the workforce is estimated to cost the Afghan economy up to $1 billion. USAID is helping to improve opportunities for women to find meaningful work and earn a livelihood.