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South Asia

Our work in South Asia focuses on the comprehensive improvement of the living conditions of disadvantaged population groups. With the approach of social structure promotion, we support people in organising themselves so that they can exercise their rights and improve their social participation.

With our projects we want to reduce poverty sustainably and improve the nutritional situation permanently by means of innovative organic agriculture. Another focus is on migration and human trafficking. Together with our partner organisations, we work for the rights of migrants and for safe migration.

3 Mädchen und 2 Jungen sitzen auf dem Boden und unterhalten sich. Die Mädchen tragen blaue lange Kopftücher, die Jungen blaue Hämden.
South AsiaPakistan

Humanitarian Aid- support for afghan refugees in Pakistan

More and more people from Afghanistan are seeking refuge in Pakistan. The situation in the shelters is very tense due to the high prices for food and the lack of necessary materials. Together with SOLIDAR Suisse, AWO International supports refugees with food, cooking utensils and other urgently needed relief supplies.

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On the left you can see a river. Next to it is a dam built of stones. There are four women working on the dam.
South AsiaNepal

Strengthening local capacities in disaster risk reduction: What we were able to achieve in West-Nepal

What needs to be considered in the event of a disaster? And what is the best way to take precautions? These and other questions were addressed by the disaster risk reduction project in West-Nepal, which was successfully completed at the end of 2021. Using various approaches and measures, the project strengthened the awareness and the capacities of local institutions and communities in preparedness and in dealing with natural disasters in a rural community severely affected by climate change.

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South AsiaPakistan

Pakistan

Approximately 242 million people are living in Pakistan. Many of them do not have easy access to drinking water and suffer from food insecurity due to natural disasters, lack of livelihood opportunities and high food prices. Already during the Afghanistan war 40 years ago, Pakistan - despite its own economic problems - took in millions of refugees from the neighbouring country. Since the Taliban took power in August 2021, many Afghans have again sought protection in Pakistan.

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Synergies are being harnessed: As part of the special initiative "One World without Hunger", our innovative project could be extended to two more districts in Odisha. (Photo: AWO International)
South AsiaIndia

A world without hunger: Securing food in Odisha

Odisha is one of the poorest states in India. Since 2009, AWO International has been successfully implementing poverty reduction and food security projects in three districts with its partner organisation Madhyam. With additional funding from the special initiative "A World Without Hunger", 83 villages in two further districts have been supported since 2015.

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Awareness raising on 'safe migration' and 'prevention of human trafficking' via radio (pic: HuRF/AWO International)
South AsiaNepal

Youth groups for social change in Ilam

In Ilam, a district bordering the tea plantations in Darjeeling, India, AWO International works together with the Human Rights Forum Nepal, HuRF for short. The project focuses on strengthening youth groups who work for safe migration and against human trafficking in their communities.

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Promotion of livelihoods and income security through beekeeping for returning and potential migrants (pic: NEEDS/AWO International)
South AsiaNepal

Chances for a better future in the Far West of Nepal

The Far West of Nepal is home to a large proportion of those Nepalese who migrate to India in search of work. There is a lack of programmes in this region to strengthen the rights of migrants, to create prospects for them to stay and to combat human trafficking. Our partner organization National Environment and Equity Development Society, NEEDS for short, is the only organization working on the issue of safe migration in Doti and Kanchanpur Districts.

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Advice and information on safe migration routes for potential migrants (pic: WosCC/AWO International)
South AsiaNepal

How we stand up for women in Makwanpur

Preventing human trafficking and promoting the political and socio-economic participation of women: This is what AWO International and its partner organisation Women Skill Creation Centre, WoSCC for short, are working for in Makwanpur District in Nepal.

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AWO International supports by supplying hygiene products and water tanks (Photo: AWO International)
South AsiaNepal

Corona emergency aid in Nepalese quarantine centres

In Nepal, provisional quarantine centres were set up for the returning migrant workers from India. The infrastructure of these health centres is quite precarious and the care of the people is insufficient. AWO International supports the project by supplying hygiene products and running an awareness campaign.

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To protect arriving migrants from corona, we distribute protective masks at border crossings and set up hand washing stations (Photo: AWO International/Needs/Nepal)
South AsiaNepal

Coronavirus prevention in the Nepal-India border region

A vast movement of Nepalese labour migrants returning to their home country was triggered by the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic in India. Tens of thousands of people set out with their belongings on a long journey with an uncertain outcome; partly by bus, partly by bicycle or on foot.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Im Rotlichtviertel Bowbazaar unterstützen wir Frauen mit berufsvorbereitenden Trainings (Foto: AWO International/SKHM)
South AsiaIndia

New perspectives for the residents in the red light district of Kolkata

Bowbazaar is one of the oldest and largest red light districts in the metropolis of Kolkata in West Bengal, India. Here we work with our partner organisation South Kolkata Hamari Muskan, SKHM for short. The project aims to reduce gender-based violence and offers women the opportunity to go to a “Safe Space”. In addition, we provide health care and education and show the residents alternative employment opportunities.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Tanzende Menschen
South AsiaIndia

Human trafficking and traumas - a way out through dance and movement therapy

In the foothills of the metropolis of Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal, AWO International works with the partner organization Kolkata Sanved against human trafficking. The project focuses on healing and empowering affected and disadvantaged women and girls through the medium of dance and movement therapy.

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The working conditions of many migrants are often precarious. Here: Migrant workers at a protest action. (Photo: WORBE)
South AsiaBangladesh

Safe migration in Bangladesh

Hundreds of thousands of people from Bangladesh leave their home country every year to work abroad. The conditions under which many migrants have to work and live are usually catastrophic. In order to improve their situation, AWO International, together with the local partner organization WARBE, is implementing a project for safe migration in Bangladesh.

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Together with our partner organisations, we promote safe migration and combat human trafficking. (Picture: AWO International)
South AsiaBangladesh

Combating human trafficking and promoting safe migration

Every day thousands of people leave Bangladesh to work in other countries. Migration flows- including within the country - are a breeding ground for human trafficking. Many migrant women are sold and exploited as cheap labour. In cooperation with our partner organization Rights Jessore, we promote safe migration and take action against human trafficking.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Gemeinsam mit unserer Projektpartnerin GUK verbessern wir die sanitäre Situation und die Sicherheit von Frauen und Mädchen in den Flüchtlingslagern. (Foto: AWO International)
South AsiaBangladesh

Rohingya: Improving living conditions in refugee camps

The situation for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh remains difficult. Together with our project partner GUK we improve the sanitary situation and the safety of women and girls in refugee camps.

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Our partner organisation determines the needs in order to provide emergency aid efficiently (pic: AWO International)
South AsiaBangladesh

Emergency aid in Bangladesh: food and hygiene goods for the victims of Cyclone Amphan and Covid-19 Preparedness

Cyclone Amphan hit East India and Bangladesh on 20th May 2020, devastating coastal areas with massive wind speeds of up to 190 km/h and heavy rainfall. Millions of people lost all their belongings - in the middle of the Corona pandemic. The serious consequences of this double crisis in our project region Assasuni in Bangladesh require immediate support and help.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Gegen Vertreibung und unsichere Migration: In  Gaibandha, Bangladesch schaffen wir neue Perspektiven für Migrant*innen und Klimavertriebene (Foto: AWO International/GUK)
South AsiaBangladesh

Against displacement and unsafe migration - new perspectives for Gaibandha in Bangladesh

Gaibhanda in northern Bangladesh is one of the poorest regions in the country. Due to the climatic conditions, it is particularly difficult for the inhabitants here to support themselves. As a result, more and more inhabitants are leaving their home villages to work elsewhere. Our project with the local partner organization Gana Unnayan Kendra, or GUK for short, aims to address some of the problems of migration and displacement due to poverty and climate change.

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The massive fire destroyed more than 10,000 huts in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh (Photo: AWO International/GUK)
South AsiaBangladesh

Fires tear through Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh

On March the 22nd, a major fire in the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar has destroyed the shelters of more than 88,000 Rohingya refugees. Together with the organization Solidar Suisse, we are providing relief supplies and support, as well as training on how to prevent and deal with fires and burn injuries.

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South AsiaBangladesh

"SLOWLY WE CAN LOOK AHEAD AGAIN"

On 27th July 2021, heavy rains in the region around Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh led to flash floods and landslides in the Rohingya refugee camps and the surrounding villages of the host communities. Just a few months earlier, large parts of the camps were hit by the outbreak of a devastating fire. In cooperation with our partner organizations on the ground, we supported the most affected families by providing relief goods and distributing cash.

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The AWO International team and the local partner organisation deepen their knowledge on emergency measures, for example in a first aid exercise (Photo: AWO International)
South AsiaIndiaBangladeshNepal

Better prepared for disasters

Climate change negatively influences the livelihoods of millions of people, especially in the Global South. South Asia is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters due to its geo-climatic characteristics. Our disaster risk reduction project strengthens community resilience and trains the Nepalese AWO staff and local partners on disaster risk reduction activities.

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Young women receive relief supplies consisting of female hygiene products, soaps, mouth and nose protection masks, disinfectants and cleaning supplies for the tube wells (pic: AWO Interntional)
South AsiaIndia

Worst cyclone in West Bengal in 283 years - this is how we help the people affected in Pathar Pratima

Cyclone Amphan hit West Bengal, India, on 20 May 2020, devastating coastal areas with massive wind speeds of up to 190 kilometres per hour and heavy rainfall. Shortly afterwards, our team reached the heavily affected districts of Pathar Pratima and Mandir Bazar to provide local assistance to affected families.

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