Background : Mobilization for Afghanistan


The creation of MADERA in 1988, is the extension of actions of solidarity with the Afghan resistance, which emerged at the beginning of the Soviet intervention: the organization in Paris in May 1980, of a rally "Six hours for Afghanistan" and activities by Afghan resistance support committees, set up throughout Europe, such as the BIA (Bureau International  pour l’Afghanistan). Very quickly, it appeared that support for rural Afghanistan was essential to help the Afghan people, who are mostly farmers, to resist the Soviet invasion. Thus, MADERA - Mission d’Aide au Développement des Economies Rurales en Afghanistan (Mission to Support the Development of Rural Economies in Afghanistan) was founded in 1988. It is a French organization whose founding members are from several European countries.


First Interventions in the Field


The first interventions were implemented on a limited scale in the high valleys of Nuristan and Kunar: activities such as the provision of seeds and veterinary measures. They were originally supported by modest funding from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The field team, small in size, had no real logistics. However, relations were soon forged with the people and the knowledge of the realities of the situation deepened.

Growth and Professionalization

After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 and the capture of Kabul by the Mujahedeen in April 1992, thousands of refugee families in Pakistan returned to Afghanistan. In 1992, the European Commission provided significant funds for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. MADERA expanded its operations, professionalized its actions, and strengthened its team in the field. MADERA then attempted to assure food production through the rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage systems, of agricultural land, provision of inputs, to support for a network of veterinary clinics, animal vaccination campaigns, and support for arboriculture activities.