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Cordaid has been active in the country since 2001, aiming at a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. We work in six thematic areas: inclusive peace, security & justice, humanitarian aid, resilience, private sector development, and healthcare. In addition, we have a lobby & advocacy program supporting our work in these thematic areas including women, peace, and security.


Cordaid has specific activities in most provinces. These include security & justice with grassroots Provincial Women Networks in 15 provinces (Kabul, Parwan, Bamyan, Daikundi, Urozgan, Kandahar, Helmand, Herat, Faryab, Balkh, Kunduz, Badakhshan, Laghman, Nangarhar and Paktia); humanitarian aid in 9 provinces (Kabul, Bamyan, Urozgan, Kandahar, Ghor, Herat, Balkh, Kunduz and Nangarhar); resilience in Balkh; private sector development in Kabul, Herat, and Kandahar; healthcare in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh, and Nangarhar.
In addition, Cordaid undertakes national and international lobby & advocacy in four trajectories (health, inclusive and engendered peace, access to justice, and extractives) and helps operationalise the Afghan National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 by linking inclusive security and justice through close collaboration between the Country Office and the Global Office. Cordaid is decentralising its oversight and support from its main office in Kabul to regional field offices that are (being) set-up.


Afghanistan has suffered decades of war and conflict that have killed, displaced, and disrupted millions of lives. At the same time, the country is prone to natural hazards including droughts, floods, earthquakes, and harsh winters in its mountainous areas. Nevertheless, increased war fatigue has shifted Afghan and international attention toward a possible political settlement in 2020. Despite some promising developments, many issues lie ahead that must be resolved before a sustainable peace process can be realised and numerous issues could potentially derail this process. Meanwhile, living conditions are particularly challenging in rural areas, with women and children being the most vulnerable groups.


Cordaid actively supports and works with competent Afghan and International NGOs and other organisations, which include 1% Club, AWN, AWEC, BAYAT Foundation, Caritas Germany, EPD, HBORL, IRC, OWH, Oxfam Novib, RRAA, SALAH Consortium, Terre des Hommes, ZOA and others.

Recent donors include Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Afghanistan, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNOCHA and others.

Cordaid works to end poverty and exclusion. We do this in the world’s most fragile and conflict-affected areas as well as in the Netherlands.

We engage communities to rebuild trust and resilience and increase people’s self-reliance. Our professionals provide humanitarian assistance and create opportunities to improve security, health care and education and stimulate inclusive economic growth.


We are supported by nearly 300,000 private donors in the Netherlands and by a worldwide partner network. Cordaid is a founding member of Caritas Internationalis and CIDSE.

The overriding challenge in fragile and (post-)conflict countries is restoring trust and social cohesion, at the community level and between communities and the state. This is what Cordaid does, right in the heart of communities, by mobilizing global networks, resources and knowledge. By doing this, we help people move beyond survival and live in dignity.


Half of the world’s poor people live in countries that are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. This is a critical development challenge. Conflicts drive 80% of all humanitarian needs. They force people to seek safer grounds. Currently, more than 70 million people are forcibly displaced. Many of them die in an attempt to seek safer grounds and to enjoy minimal levels of peace, security, and prosperity.

Cordaid does not accept this world of inequality, exclusion, and unsustainability. We envisage a world where the basics of a life in dignity are available to all. Where the poorest and the most excluded people can influence the decisions that affect them. Where each person is free to flourish and can live in peace.


We focus on fragility
Cordaid is the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid. Inspired by compassion, solidarity, and subsidiarity, we see it as our mission to reduce fragility and the vulnerability of people where it is most needed and most difficult: in fragile and conflict-affected societies.

We focus our efforts in some of the world’s most conflict-torn and volatile areas in countries like South Sudan, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We do this by promoting equality and social inclusion, by increasing the resilience of people and societies and by strengthening the social contract between citizens and their governments.

We link relief and development
Wherever we can we combine lifesaving humanitarian aid with the longer-term improvement of health care systems, economic opportunities and disaster resilience, and the promotion of security and justice.

We are part of the Caritas family
Cordaid is a proud and active member of Caritas Internationalis, a global confederation of over 160 catholic organizations, working at the grassroots in almost every country in the world. When a crisis hits, we are on the ground. Together we reach out to the poor and the excluded, regardless of race and religion.


Cordaid was established in 2000 when several Dutch aid organizations joined forces. But our history goes back more than a century.

World War I
One of our predecessors, Mensen in Nood (‘People in Need’), was set up in 1914 to meet the needs of more than one million refugees who fled to the Netherlands during the First World War.

In 1925, Memisa, another member of the Cordaid family, was founded. It became a leading organization in the field of health care in developing countries.

In the 1930s, Cordaid’s predecessors alleviated the plight and suffering of victims of the Great Depression in the Netherlands. After World War II, our focus shifted further from home to countries in the global South. This led to a new kind of solidarity between countries, called development aid. Cordaid was at the forefront of it, right from the start.

Dutch Co-financing
The Dutch government, quick to recognize the importance of development aid, introduced the so-called ‘co-financing system’: it funded non-governmental organizations to set up and implement development aid programs. In 1961 this resulted in the establishment of Cebemo, a Roman Catholic foundation that financed the work of missionaries as a special form of assistance to developing countries.

For decades Cordaid Memisa, Cordaid Mensen in Nood and other Cordaid brands, provided health care, famine relief, shelter and other forms of aid. We addressed the basic needs and strengthened the voice of millions of people in dozens of developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Focus on fragility
In 2015, after the Dutch government decided to phase out its co-financing system, Cordaid had to restructure its operations and narrowed down its countries of intervention to less than 20. By that time, forced migration and displacement, conflict and fragility had become key drivers of global dynamics. This is why we now focus on those areas of international development that are most urgent and difficult: fragile contexts and conflict areas.

Over the years, Cordaid has changed. We are no longer a mere donor. Reducing fragility has become our core priority. We work in all contexts of fragility, from relief, through rehabilitation to longer-term development. To do this effectively we seek funds, start partnerships and compete on a global market.

But our early mission to protect and assist people in dire need has remained the same. And we continue to be driven by a Catholic identity and the corresponding social teachings.


People are at the heart of everything Cordaid does: from fundraising and communication to the implementation of our programs in fragile and conflict-affected regions in the world. 


Cordaid stands with women, men and children whose basic needs are unmet and whose rights are trampled. Starting in the heart of their communities, Cordaid builds partnerships and mobilizes global networks, resources and knowledge to help people move beyond survival and live in dignity. This is how we work.

We campaign and catalyze change
We empower local communities to set their own agendas. We mobilize the private sector, pressure local governments and international decision-makers to change policies and provide resources and public services that are more responsive to community needs.

Country Office

Kabul, Afghanistan

To contact our office, please send a message to

Country Director of Afghanistan

Jaap van Hierden

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