The Survival Guide to Kabul©

Published internationally in July 2003 as Kabul: The Bradt Mini Guide.

First published in Kabul in September 2002 as a pamphlet.



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LINK TO: Security briefing from a former British Army Officer in Northern Ireland.


We’ve spoken to a number of security gurus. Five pointers from “Shaft”:


*ONLY YOU are responsible for your safety. Your actions will determine your future.

*HEALTH - People working under pressure must keep themselves in excellent physical condition. You must allow time for relaxation, even if this means putting off important work. Get regular periods of leave because the physical affects the mental.

*CONDUCT - Avoid behaviour likely to arouse suspicion. Cameras, binoculars and tape recorders should be used with discretion and only after the necessary permission has been granted.

*OFFICIAL PROPERTY - When faced with an attacker whose main purpose seems to be looting rather than physical harm, DO NOT PUT THE LIVES of the staff in jeopardy over protecting organization equipment.

*KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN - If there is danger avoid the instinct to see what it is going on, do not expose yourself and do not move unless you’re going from a place of greater danger to a place of less danger.




Handicap International Belgium (HIB) runs mine awareness courses for aid-workers and journalists. 3-4 sessions run per week for up to 20 participants (09:00-11:00, 14:00-16:00). Sessions are in English, Dari and Pashto and are also held in Kandahar, Jalalabad, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif. For more details contact:, 070 27 7314. Or call in at HIB at Qali Fatullah, House No 104, opposite the Zarghoona High School.


HIB Statistics:

·          More than 730 km2 of contaminated land makes Afghanistan the most heavily mined country in the world.

·          There is another 500 km2 of battlefields littered by UXO and/or landmines.

·          150 to 300 people are injured or killed by mines or UXO every month.


De-mining has cost 666 million US dollars since the UN Mine Action Program for Afghanistan was started in 1989.



There are reports of good medical care from the Emergency Hospital near UNAMA Compound A (+873 762 651 690).


There’s a German Field Hospital and Czech Hospital at the ISAF base on the Jalalabad road. Just turn up for emergency treatment and things seem to move pretty fast.


In an emergency make sure your colleagues know your evacuation plan and have your health details to hand.



Centurion Risk Assessment Services

“Centurion is the world’s leading risk assessment training company providing practical hostile environments and first aid advice and instruction to journalists, emergency and humanitarian aid workers, and business people working in hazardous regions.”


AKE Group

“We are staffed by former UK Special Forces personnel as well as by experienced intelligence analysts. While many companies claim (and do so admirably in most cases) to offer security services, we are one of the few who not only maintain a permanent presence in Afghanistan and have a long operational experience there, but also maintain a team of analysts specifically designated to monitor events in the country and their impact upon personal security.  Our patented Surviving Hostile Regions course is recognised by media and business personnel as the industry standard and has a long tradition of training staffs for environments such as Afghanistan’s.”


GLOBAL STRATEGIES GROUP is a multinational Risk Management organisation delivering bespoke solutions to commercial, governmental, and humanitarian organisations around the world.  We are the market leader for integrated risk management, using a holistic approach to address the endemic risks associated with modern business, whether in commercial practice, a post-conflict region or emerging new markets. We offer strategic level consultancy, assessment and project management services in challenging environments. Our proven record of performance includes: management of the Voter Registration Election Programme in Afghanistan; providing security services in Iraq; delivering logistical support to commercial Oil & Gas extraction projects in Africa; and designing specialist Insurance and Finance products. With unrivalled experience and knowledge ensuring on-time strategic and tactical solutions for our clients to achieve targets and deliver required returns on investment, our work with clients is segmented into three specific areas of service:

Risk Strategies: Risk management solutions for a dynamic, challenging and changing world.

Development Strategies: Enabling sustainable and evolving programmes in transitional environments.

Business Strategies: Empowering and facilitating business in established and emerging markets.


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The Survival Guide to Kabul©