afghanistan

Aisha carries coal to be used for cooking and heating from a brick-making factory in Jalalabad...Aisha 11, carries coal to be used for cooking and heating from a brick-making factory in Jalalabad December 17, 2013.

Parwiz/Reuters

Aisha 11, carries coal to be used for cooking and heating from a brick-making factory in Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Newly-graduated Afghan midwives attend a commencement ceremony at the Governor's House in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province. Some 40 midwives graduated in the ceremony after undergoing a two and half year midwifery programme.

Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Newly qualified midwives attend a commencement ceremony at the Governor’s House in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. About 40 midwives graduated after undergoing a two and half year midwifery programme.

Afghanistan Saffron...epa03968559 A picture made available on 28 November 2013 shows Afghan women collecting Saffron flowers from the feilds in Gozara district of Herat, Afghanistan, 27 November 2013. Saffron has been indicated as an alternative to opium, while the price and demand for it is increasing day by day. Saffron is one of the highly prized spices known since antiquity for its color, flavor and medicinal properties.  EPA/JALIL REZAYEE

Jalil Rezayee/EPA

Afghan women collecting saffron flowers from fields in the Gozara district of Herat. Saffron is prized for its colour, flavour and medicinal properties. It has been indicated as an alternative to opium, and the price and demand for it is increasing. Read more

Members of the Afghan Loya Jirga attend a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met. Karzai spoke as the 2,500-member national consultative council of Afghan elders known as the Loya Jirga started in Kabul on Thursday. The four-day meeting will discuss the bilateral security pact that defines the role of thousands of U.S. troops who will remain after the NATO combat mission ends in 2014.

Rahmat Gul/AP

Members of the Afghan Loya Jirga attend a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the US if safety and security conditions are met.

Qudrat, 18, right, poses for a photograph as he works at a charcoal shop on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. As winter is approaching, wood and charcoal are getting expensive among all other necessities for most Afghans.

Rahmat Gul/AP

Qudrat, who works at a charcoal shop on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.

An Afghan refugee boy and his sister enjoy a ride on an improvised swing, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the U.N. refugee agency, thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services.

Muhammed Muheisen/AP

An Afghan refugee boy and his sister enjoy a ride on an improvised swing, in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the UN refugee agency. Thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services. Read more

Afghanistan women health...epa03930038 Afghan women wait to receive medical treatment at a local hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 October 2013. In rural areas of Afghanistan women are not allowed to seek medical help from a male doctor. Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world where poor health conditions and malnutrition made pregnancy and childbirth exceptionally dangerous for Afghan women.  EPA/S. SABAWOON

S.Sabawoon/EPA

Afghan women wait to receive medical treatment at a local hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. In rural areas women are not allowed to seek medical help from a male doctor. Afghanistan has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Read more

Taliban militants surrender their weapons in Herat...epa03920206 Former Taliban militants stand behind an rusty old light machine gun as they surrender their weapons under a US-backed Afghan government amnesty program, in Herat, Afghanistan, 23 October 2013. Hundreds of anti-government militants have so far surrendered to the government under an amnesty program launched by Afghan President Hamid Karzai back in 2004. Taliban-led militants have been waging a bloody war against Afghan and NATO forces for a decade, often infiltrating Afghan security forces and carrying out deadly attacks on NATO and Afghan forces.  EPA/JALIL REZAYEE

Jalil Rezayee/EPA

Former Taliban militants stand behind a rusty old light machine gun as they surrender their weapons under a US-backed Afghan government amnesty programme, in Herat, Afghanistan on Wednesday. Hundreds of anti-government militants have surrendered to the government under an amnesty programme launched in 2004 by Hamid Karzai, Afghan president. Read more

Afghan boys play on a destroyed car in Kabul...Afghan boys play on a destroyed car in Kabul October 22, 2013.  REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

Boys play on a burnt out car in Kabul, Afghanistan Read more

Afghan men tend their animals at a livestock market set up for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or "feast of sacrifice," in the center of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 Muslims all over the world celebrate the three-day Eid al-Adha, by sacrificing sheep, goats, cows and camels, to commemorate the Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God's command. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Anja Niedringhaus/AP

Afghan men tend their animals at a livestock market set up for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or “feast of sacrifice”, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Muslims all over the world celebrate the three-day Eid al-Adha, which starts on Monday, by sacrificing sheep, goats, cows and camels, to commemorate the Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God’s command. Read more