Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan (2018 - 2021) 2020 Revision (December 2019)

People in Need 9.4 million

Planned Reach 7.1 million

Requirements (US$) 733 million

Operational Partners 147

The 2020 update to the Afghanistan multi-year Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP 2018-2021) requests US$733 million and aims to reach 7.1 million people who are acutely affected by the humanitarian consequences of the country’s four decades-long conflict, as well as natural disasters. The complexity of needs and response in this environment cannot be underestimated with every one of the crosscutting problems identified in the 2020 Global Humanitarian Overview1 currently affecting the people of Afghanistan.

Due to the continued high tempo of the conflict and the setbacks created by the drought, the HRP’s multi-year projections and framework for action have been reviewed. As part of a course adjustment, a revised, broader definition of humanitarian action is being applied for 2020 and 2021 which more accurately reflects the current scale and trajectory of needs in a highly volatile security environment. The revised response strategy maintains the HCT’s prioritization of emergency needs but also extends the scope of the response to include vulnerable people with ongoing needs for support, as well as people who require resilience and recovery assistance to prevent them slipping into more serious humanitarian need. This will see humanitarians respond to some of the country’s estimated four million protracted IDPs who had previously been outside the plan, as well as more people with specific vulnerabilities such as women who are heading households, people with disabilities and those experiencing mental health issues. Several sectors have included a range of resilience and recovery activities which, while more expensive in the short-term, will create savings and reduced suffering for beneficiaries in the long-term. The result has been a higher number of people in need (9.4 million), a more ambitious plan for reach (7.1 million) and an increased financial requirement ($733 million).

Cross-cutting response priorities for 2020 include continued action on prioritised recommendations from the 2019 Peer-2-Peer mission; an expansion of in-country cash capacity and improved decision-making on the use of cash; piloting of Area-Based Response; expanded thematic preparedness planning; a focus on accountability to affected people; improved monitoring of response coverage; and better analysis of the gender, disability and mental health dimensions of the response. The forging of closer relationships and aligned planning between humanitarian and development actors is also a continued priority under the HRP. Leveraging the relatively expansive footprint and human resources of humanitarian organisations to help vulnerable people bridge to longer-term, sustainable development assistance is a focus for 2020. This was a key lesson learned from the 2018-2019 drought response.

Revised definition of humanitarian action in Afghanistan

Humanitarian action in Afghanistan provides life-saving emergency assistance to people in need, whether they are displaced or not. It also supports the most vulnerable people who are unable to access basic services or ensure their own survival, aspiring to leave no one behind. It aims to preserve people’s dignity, improve their living conditions, and strengthen their coping capacity and resilience. Humanitarian action also assists host communities to cope with accommodating IDPs, refugees and returnees.

Humanitarian action in Afghanistan aims to protect people’s rights and safety under international law and support those with special needs. The humanitarian community responds to people with physical and psychological trauma to foster their recovery and ability to play an active role in society. Humanitarian action opens the way for recovery of vulnerable populations through livelihood, asset- creation, cash-for-work and system-strengthening programmes, bridging people to more sustainable development assistance.

Humanitarian action aims to be integrated, coordinated, principled, rapid, effective and accountable, and guided by multi-year planning. It includes the use of cash where appropriate and aims to address people’s needs across all sectors. The humanitarian community supports affected people to make decisions about the assistance they receive and to safely access complaints mechanisms.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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