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South Central Asia

Save the Children has been providing life-saving care to children in South Central Asia for more than 30 years. We run health and nutrition programs that improve access to basic services and reduce infant and maternal deaths.

Why we work in South Central Asia

The countries we work in – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan – each have their own complex contexts and issues. From conflict and climate change, to gender inequality, violence, infant mortality and lack of education, children are impacted in different ways by these challenges but often with devastating consequences.

Child marriage and forced child labour are two of the biggest challenges faced by children in South Central Asia. Our research – detailed in our 2017 Stolen Childhoods report ­– has found that, in some parts of the region, 45% of girls are married before the age of 18.

Ongoing conflict also affects the lives of thousands of children, particularly in Afghanistan. While in Bangladesh, the impacts of climate change and flooding impact children’s education, access to healthcare and the ability of their families to sustain their livelihoods.

Bangladesh is currently experiencing one of the region’s worst humanitarian crises. More than 655,000 Rohingya people have been forced to flee Myanmar and are now living in an enormous refugee camp inside Bangladesh.

More than half of the refugees in the camp are women and children who have experienced unimaginable atrocities. They have arrived in Bangladesh with no water, no food and, for many children, no knowledge of where their families are.

Save the Children's work in South Central Asia

Save the Children has been providing life-saving care to children in South Central Asia for more than 30 years. We run health and nutrition programs that improve access to basic services and reduce infant and maternal deaths. We also support girls and boys who have been forced into child marriage, child trafficking and other forms of exploitation and abuse.

In Afghanistan, we are improving access to education for children affected by conflict. In Bangladesh, we work with families and local government to protect children from violence and abuse, particularly girls and women. We connect young people from urban slum settlements with services and employment.

Watch how we are helping remote communities in Afghanistan access clean water

We also help build community resilience to climate change in disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh by engaging children and their families in child-focused adaptation.

We help build community resilience to climate change in disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh by supporting children and their caregivers to adapt to a changing environment. And we’re providing isolated Rohingya girls with an education by linking them with the mainstream school system from within their home using tablets and smart phones.

We respond during emergencies such as earthquakes, floods and conflict through our Emergency Health Unit and child friendly spaces. We are currently on the ground in Bangladesh to support Rohingya refugees.