Afghanistan: the humanitarian needs have never been greater

The people of Afghanistan continue enduring one of the world’s most complex humanitarian crises, despite the media attention around the evacuation. Some 12.2 million people are facing acute hunger, 3.5 million people are displaced within the country due to drought and insecurity and the pandemic persists.

CARE Afghanistan’s Deputy Country Director, Marianne O’Grady, shared, “CARE remains focused and clear on our commitment to support the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan, including women and girls. Since May this year, almost 400,000 additional people have been displaced within the country, mostly due to insecurity. For countless displaced people living in the open, survival is a day-to-day prospect. By the time the hot Afghanistan sun has peaked over the horizon each morning, families have already contemplated tough questions – ‘How will we access food today? Will there be water to drink? How will we protect our most vulnerable family members? Where will we sleep tonight? What does tomorrow hold?’

“Financial assistance is a highly effective and efficient form of humanitarian aid, allowing families to decide for themselves what they need the most, while also supporting the local economy. Once banks and other institutions re-open, and CARE'soperationsrestart, we plan to help families buy essential goods and services, while alsodelivering hygiene kits. It is critical that safe, rapid, and unimpeded access for humanitarian workers – both male and female – is afforded, and the smooth passage of relief items is facilitated, so we can get aid to the people who need it the most, quickly.”

With more than 18 million people in need of assistance, Afghanistan remains one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world – even before these recent events. The current combination of acute hunger, income loss due to the pandemic, displacement, lack of access to healthcare during a pandemic, and insecurity is likely to trigger negative coping behaviors and increase protection risks.CARE knows from experience that displaced women and girls face greater risks, leaving them with even less decision-making authority over self and family, and most women have limited or no access to basic services, such as protection or health care.

Marianne said, “The Afghan people are resilient and hard-working, but they have been dealt blow after blow and need our support now more than ever. CARE urges the international community to meet its existing funding commitments and step-up funding to help provide much-need food, water, housing, livelihood support, clothing and items to help people face the harsh winter when it arrives. Let us stand in solidarity with the Afghan people. The spirit of a nation depends on it.”


Notes to editor

Afghanistan already had 2.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs) prior to 2021, and the pace of families fleeing their homes has intensified due to conflict and drought. Since January 1, more than 550,000 Afghans – nearly 80% women and children – have become IDPs. More than 390,000 people have been newly internally displacedbetween May and August 2021.

Many parts of the country are experiencing drought conditions, made worse by a warm winter with rain and snowfall at half their usual levels. Without sufficient water from snowmelt, farmers are seeing crop failures and food shortages, leading to displacement. Some 12.2 million people in Afghanistan already had high levels of food insecurity prior to the government’s collapse.

In 2020, CARE Afghanistan reached 1,020,080 people, including 93,654 people with humanitarian assistance. 

Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the largest and oldest humanitarian aid organisations fighting global poverty. CARE has a special focus on empowering and meeting the needs of women and girls and promoting gender equality and works in 100 countries around the world.

CARE has a long history in Afghanistan, establishing its first mission there in 1961.

CARE’s programs in Afghanistan focus on women’s social and economic empowerment, education, rural development, and emergency response.

For media enquiries contact:

Suzy Sainovski(based in Melbourne, Australia)
Asia Pacific Regional Communications & Media Advisor, CARE International

Email: Skype: suzy.sainovski
Mobile: + 61 3 429 418 353