Helmand (Pashto/Dari: هلمند), also known as Hillmand or Helman, and, in ancient times, as Hermand and Hethumand is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, in the south of the country. It is the largest province by area, covering 58,584 km2 area. The province contains 13 districts, encompassing over 1,000 villages, and roughly 879,500 settled people. Lashkar Gah serves as the provincial capital.
Helmand was part of the Greater Kandahar region until made into a separate province by the Afghan government in the 20th century. The province has a domestic airport (Bost Airport), in the city of Lashkar Gah and heavily used by NATO-led forces. The British Camp Bastion and U.S. Camp Leatherneck is a short distance southwest of Lashkar Gah.
The Helmand River flows through the mainly desert region of the province, providing water used for irrigation. The Kajaki Dam, which is one of Afghanistan's major reservoirs, is located in the Kajaki district. Helmand is believed to be one of the world's largest opium-producing regions, responsible for around 42% of the world's total production. This is believed to be more than the whole of Burma, which is the second largest producing nation after Afghanistan. The region also produces tobacco, sugar beets, cotton, sesame, wheat, mung beans, maize, nuts, sunflowers, onions, potato, tomato, cauliflower, peanut, apricot, grape, and melon.