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
A health worker administers a polio vaccination to a child in Herat, Afghanistan, at the start of a three-day nationwide immunisation campaign against polio, supported by the country’s Ministry of Public Health
Afghan boys transport containers of water with a wheelbarrow on the outskirts of Herat, Afghanistan on Tuesday. The war-torn country still faces poverty, unemployment and lack of infrastructure despite western aid that has flooded Afghanistan in the 11 years since a US-led invasion toppled the Islamist Taliban regime.
A former Taliban fighter looks on during a ceremony after joining Afghan government forces in Herat on Wednesday. About 100,000 foreign combat troops, 68,000 of them from the US, are due to leave by the end of 2014, and NATO formally transferred responsibility for nationwide security to Afghan forces a week ago. Read more
An Afghan boy searches for recyclable garbage at the city’s landfill in Herat, Afghanistan. Read more
An Afghan girl stands in the doorway of her house in the old sector of Herat on Wednesday. Over a third of Afghans are living in abject poverty, as those in power are more concerned about addressing their vested interests rather than the basic needs of the population, a UN report said. Read more
Afghan confectioners work at a traditional sweets factory in Herat. Some 9 million Afghans or 36 per cent of the population are living in “absolute poverty”, while another 37 per cent live barely above the poverty line, according to a UN report.