UN World Food Programme

A Diary From Afghanistan

WFP’s Silke Buhr is currently travelling in the mountains of Central Afghanistan to see how food aid is helping to transform the lives of the people who live there. Here are a few excerpts from her travel diary, which paint a fascinating picture of one of the least visited places on Earth.

Day 6 - Three remarkable women

On the final day of Silke's trip to central Afghanistan, she meets three women, each of whom impress her with their determination to improve their own lives, and those of their families and their community. One of them is thrilled at simply having a job in a government office. As a child the idea of working outside her home had seemed impossible. Read more

Day 5 - The strange face of drought

With her jeep sliding around in mud, Silke enters the Yakawlang district of Bamyan, where she finds out how a village can be rain-soaked and severely drought-affected at the same time. Talking to the men of the village she also finds out how they are planning to deal with the coming food shortages and what long-term effects that could have on the community. Read more

Day 4 - Tourism in Afghanistan?

South of Bamyan lie the Koh-i-Baba mountains, picture perfect peaks capped with snow that catches and reflects the light in a different, awe-inspiring way every moment of the day. They would be the feather in the cap of any country’s tourist industry, and the local government is looking at ways to develop a sustainable ecotourism trade. Read more

Day 3 - Mountain saplings

During Silke Buhr's third day in Afghanistan, she visits Bamyan Hospital and learns how important food assistance is for patients at the tuberculosis clinic. She also meets Khadeja, a woman who's found a new lease of life thanks to involvement in a plant nursery, which is indirectly helping to improve soil quality in the area. Read more

Day 2 - Not Silke's day

Silke's second day in the mountains of central of Afghanistan doesn't go as planned. After getting bumped off her helicopter flight to the Daykundi province, she visits a home for expectant mothers, only to find that they have all gone to have their babies. But she does get the chance to meet Dr Raihana, a courageous woman who's changing the world -- one healthy baby at a time. Read more

Day 1 - Writing in the dark

Silke had to write her first entry in the dark after the hotel generators shut down for the night. Power is in short supply in Bamyan, a town high up in the mountains of central Afghanistan where Silke begins her journey getting to know the people and terrain of this rugged part of the world. Read more