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Afghanistan is a landlocked county of high mountains and deep basins, home to an ethnically diverse population with cultural connections to all corners of Asia. Land routes connecting Southwest Asia and Europe to Central and South Asia have run through Afghanistan for thousands of years, bringing both trade and conflict to the area. Currently, Afghanistan is the site of an increasingly complex war involving the United States, Canada, their allies from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) including Canada, in addition to Afghanistan's UN-recognized government, local warlords, and Afghanistan's former governing body, the Taliban. The war began over the role Afghan territory played in the staging of Al-Qaeda's September 11 attacks, but has progressed into an exercise in nation building.
Mennonite Central Committee's main offices are in the United States and Canada, as are many of MCC's constituents whose volunteer work, material aid contributions, and monetary donations support our work around the world. In Afghanistan, MCC seeks to show the Christian love our constituents profess for all people of the world by walking with the Afghan people. Through MCC's work in education, health, and relief, we seek to help meet basic needs as a way to reduce conflict, while at the same time sharing other resources that will assist our partners in their work on peace and development.
In Afghanistan, MCC seeks to strengthen a witness for peaceful living and cross-cultural friendship with the particular hope that some of the children born in war-torn areas can develop the tools necessary to build a peaceable and economically sustainable future. MCC supports efforts to teach peacebuilding in schools, including support for the publication of educational materials. MCC also provides material aid to schools and food relief to areas gripped by drought. The tragic consequences of unexploded munitions among civilians in Afghanistan are also an inspiration for MCC's advocacy against the use of cluster bombs, a campaign which began in Laos.