Where We Work


Earthquake in Afghanistan

Providing trauma care to quake victims


Even as uncertainty about the future grips the nation, our staff throughout the country remains committed to providing lifesaving medical services and training. You can help.

International Medical Corps was established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses to address the critical need for medical care in war-torn Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Over the decades, in the face of continued conflict, we have remained, delivering medical care, healthcare-related services and training, as Afghanistan remains one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies.

Today in Afghanistan, 18 million people—a number that equals roughly half the population and includes about 10 million children—rely on humanitarian assistance for their survival. One-third are food-insecure, and more than half of all children under 5 are at risk of acute malnutrition. The country has some of the world’s highest infant, child and maternal mortality rates, due to a widespread lack of access to adequate healthcare and nutrition. A severe drought—the second in four years—will make the current situation even worse.

As of 2020, an estimated 3.5 million Afghans were displaced within their own country—and that number has only grown since then, with at least 550,000 additional people internally displaced since January 2021, due to the battle for control of the government. In addition to political unrest, recurring natural hazards—such as avalanches, earthquakes, flooding and landslides—exacerbate the situation. The combination of the volatile security situation and frequent natural disasters make it difficult to reach populations in need.

In the midst of these problems, health facilities remain a common target of violence, resulting in the suspension of services in a number of locations. Yet our staff—the vast majority of whom are hired locally—continue working throughout the country to improve the quality of life and health status of those we serve by providing medical services and training.




Life Expectancy



Infant mortality rate

106.75 deaths 

per 1,000 live births

The Challenges

Ongoing Conflict & Natural Disasters

Violence has continued to increase across Afghanistan

Weak Health Systems

There are only about two physicians per 10,000 people, and about five nurses and midwives per 10,000 people


13.1 million Afghans are in need

Poor Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Progress has been made in recent years to provide rural populations with greater access to improved drinking water sources, but much still needs to be done

Gender-Based Violence

According to recent reports, almost 90% of Afghan women have experienced at least one form of either physical, sexual or psychological violence, and more than 60% have experienced at least two

Our Response

Emergency & Primary Healthcare

International Medical Corps provides lifesaving emergency healthcare services to Afghans, including trauma care, primary healthcare, maternal and newborn healthcare, mental health care, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases, and other services.

We also provide relief programs for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the four eastern provinces of Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar and Nuristan, and use mobile health units, fixed centers and first-aid trauma posts (FATPs) to provide primary and community health and lifesaving medical services in Kunar, Nuristan and Paktika provinces. In 2021, we provided 195,319 health consultations, including emergency trauma-care services to 20,247 people affected by conflict. In addition, we offered reproductive health services—including antenatal care, delivery assistance, postnatal care and family planning—to 11,990 women.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)

International Medical Corps provides MHPSS services to help individuals and communities rebuild social structures after an emergency or critical event. We train counselors to identify mental health needs and provide support as part of an integrated mobile team. Counselors offer both group and individual counseling to those exposed to distressing life experiences, and refer people with severe mental health conditions to appropriate health facilities.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programs

Barely a quarter of Afghanistan’s population is estimated to have access to sanitation facilities—a reality that creates fertile ground for outbreaks of disease. Our WASH teams work closely with communities to educate them on the risks of open defecation, enabling them to educate others. We do this by forming family health action groups, which work with community health workers to foster behavior change around sanitation and hygiene at the household level.

We also provide safe drinking water, hygiene supplies and sanitation facilities to Afghan IDPs, returnees, host communities and refugees crossing from Pakistan into the Achin, Batikot and Torkham districts of Nangarhar province, and the Barmal district of Paktika province. In 2021, we provided more than 42,580 people with hygiene-awareness information, built or restored 14 water-supply networks and trained 147 WASH committee members on infection prevention and control (IPC) measures. We also integrated COVID-19 awareness into our programming, reaching 348,124 people with awareness messaging and training eight vaccinators to provide COVID-19 vaccination in four health facilities of Kunar province. In addition, International Medical Corps provided 1,600 families with hygiene kits. Through our telehealth hotline at the 50-bed COVID-19 hospital in Paktika province, we provided COVID-related information to 2,838 people.

Gender-Based Violence Programs

International Medical Corps is working to reduce gender-based violence (GBV) in Afghanistan, as well as reduce the stigmas that shadow survivors. We do this through targeted social and behavior-change activities. We also ensure that medical and psychosocial support is available for survivors of GBV through our health facilities and community-based support mechanisms, including training health workers and local partners in GBV case management and referral. Our current GBV activities reach nearly 1 million people in nine provinces, including Baglan, Balkh, Bamyan, Dikundi, Fryab, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kuduz and Samangan.

Our Impact

health consultations, including emergency trauma-care services to 20,247 people affected by conflict in 2021
nearly 1 million
people provided access to health sector support for GBV



Situation Reports


Help Save Lives in Afghanistan