Afghanistan: EU releases €27 million in humanitarian assistance

Brussels, 20 March 2019

Today, the European Commission has announced €27 million in humanitarian assistance for people in need in Afghanistan.

€2 million will assist the most vulnerable families affected by devastating floods in early March which continue to affect large parts of the country.

In Afghanistan civilians continue to face the consequences of decades-long conflict and natural disasters. Our new funding will help get emergency assistance to those most in need. I call on all sides of the conflict to abide by the principles of International Humanitarian Law – civilians are not a target and access of humanitarian aid to people of need must not be hindered. These conditions are crucial for delivering our assistance. We are committed to continue our help to the people of Afghanistan as long as it takes.” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

The new funding will provide emergency assistance for the most vulnerable families across the country affected by the conflict and by the drought, with a particular focus on those internally displaced, and returning Afghan refugees. This includes providing food, emergency shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and medical care for the victims of war. The EU will also continue to provide education for children who have had to leave their schools.

The funding for flood victims will provide food, shelter, water and sanitation, and essential household items, which are right now the priority needs for those whose houses were destroyed.

Background

The EU is a leading global donor for Afghanistan. Following today's announcement total EU humanitarian assistance stands at over €200 million since 2014. Over the past years, humanitarian projects in Afghanistan have provided healthcare, treatment for the wounded and provide basic supplies as well as education for 5 million people.

The EU has committed €1.4 billion in development cooperation to Afghanistan for the period 2014-2020, supporting peace, stability and democracy, sustainable growth and jobs and the provision of basic social services, as well as measures to address migration. Thanks to EU support, over 3000 functioning health facilities have been set up. Through its State and Resilience Building Contract, the EU supports key reforms for a more efficient, accountable and sustainable state.

Decades of conflict have largely hindered development in Afghanistan and caused large-scale displacement not only within the country but also to the neighbouring region. Over 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in 2018, and 740,000 people became newly displaced from January 2018 to February 2019.