Another initiative that creates jobs: thetailoring business of an Afghan woman that is supported by IOM in Hera
The tailoring business of an Afghan woman that is supported by IOM in Hera

Kabul, 20 November 2021 (TDI): The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has come forward in assisting Afghanistan. This is because the country continues to face major humanitarian, economic, and political crises. Primarily, this is through the PLACES initiative.


The Taliban took over the country, in August 2021 has led to the country facing humanitarian, economic, and political crises simultaneously. Inflation has skyrocketed as prices of basic needs rise to their peaks.

Afghans may fall into extreme poverty by mid-2022 if the humanitarian, economic, and political crises if the international community does not address them. Currently, the country’s essential services are facing collapse, and the commodities prices are increasing dramatically.

Pasta Making Business that IOM also supports in Herat
Pasta Making Business that IOM also supports in Herat

According to the report, employment opportunities are decreasing as well. The consequences of the disrupted banking system are that it creates cash shortages, and the COVID-19 is added to the pile of issues.

IOM stressed the need to meet humanitarian needs and to strengthen the resilience of Afghan communities. This is to prevent the worsening of the situation and to attempt to save socio-economic gains from the last 20 years. Another desired aim is to reduce the need for humanitarian assistance.

The United States froze $9.5 billion of the Afghan Central Bank. This is because the US demands the Taliban to guarantee women’s and human rights. The US also demands Afghanistan to establish a more inclusive government, to regain access to these bank reserves.

PLACES program wants to ensure that the communities have a voice, like the Beshud Workshop
PLACES program wants to ensure that the communities have a voice, like the Beshud Workshop

Since 1992, IOM has been offering its assistance to Afghan communities, especially those facing greater vulnerability. Lately, the organization has been using its pioneering (PLACES). PLACES program aims to provide effective socio-economic support to conflict and displacement-affected individuals in Afghanistan, within a community.


The reason this initiative has proven successful thus far is the acknowledgment that each community is unique, therefore support needs to be tailored to meet its particular needs. PLACES works identify the strengths of the communities it is targeting then aims to help them in making use of these strengths to better themselves.


Another aim of the PLACES program is to help the Afghans tap into their inner potential so citizens can enhance their resilience. According to the organization, there is a large-scale displacement issue occurring in Afghanistan. The statistics estimate that there are 5.5 million Afghans that are internally displaced.

Another estimation is that the conflict newly displaced over 680,000 Afghans in 2021. To this, the organization adds 1.1 million Afghan returnees from Iran and Pakistan in 2021.

Displaced Afghans and returnees are the most vulnerable in this situation due to a lack of support networks. This is why PLACES strives to boost the local communities so they may be able to support such individuals both economically and socially.

The program focused on emergency livelihoods, such as cash for work. The objective of the assistance is to help as many Afghans as possible to get a job, for them to help their loved ones. Over 600 Afghans received benefits from these cash-for-work initiatives in 2021.

In addition to medium and long-term livelihood assistance, this program provides access to essential infrastructure, mental health and psychosocial aid, and emergency humanitarian help wherever needed.

Under the umbrella of PLACES, IOM wishes to provide vocational training and apprenticeship. According to IOM, this is to equip people with skills. The program has trained over 1300 Afghans 800 of them are women in several areas.

Those areas are tailoring, mobile and hydraulics repair, and also solar panel installation. Additionally, IOM has also donated grants for entrepreneurial start-ups, creating increased job opportunities. These grants have created new jobs and protects existing ones for over 12,000 at-risk Afghan women and men.


The organization has also provided psycho-social support to over 2,200 citizens, 1500 of them were women. For four years, IOM has helped over 400,000 displaced Afghans from the provinces of Baghlan, Balkh, Herat. The assistance has been directed also to Kabul, Kandahar, Kunar, Laghman, and Nangarhar.

IOM’s assistance has built and improved infrastructure. The aid of IOM includes humanitarian, early recovery, reintegration, and resilience actions. Those actions currently reach 140 communities in these provinces, but IOM desires to expand it.

IOM aims to expand it to more than 300 locations in 2022. Finally, the organization believes that PLACES can make a difference in the lives of displaced people and communities. The reason is that it provides immediate relief, improves living standards, and to have inclusive economic development.