Afghanistan

ECHO Factsheet – Afghanistan – November 2017

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FACTS & FIGURES

344 000 is the estimated number of displaced people since January 2017 (OCHA, as of November 2017)

2.35 million registered Afghan refugees living in Iran and Pakistan (UNHCR)

2.7 million undocumented Afghans living in Iran and Pakistan

EU humanitarian funding: €756 million (since 1994)

Introduction

Nearly four decades of protracted conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in constant insecurity and large-scale displacement within the country and to neighbouring Iran and Pakistan. The conflict has intensified recently and continues to force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Recurrent natural hazards also put a major strain on the already-dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

What are the needs?

The partial withdrawal of international forces in 2014 led to a deterioration in the security situation; however, fighting persists between government forces supported by the international community and armed opposition groups which compounds insecurity. Civilians bear the brunt of these heightened confrontations: according to the UN, more than 8000 civilians were killed or injured in the first three quarters of 2017, which is close to record levels. Moreover, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that some 344 000 have become newly displaced since January 2017. Devastated by the protracted conflict, these displaced people are reliant on humanitarian assistance and need protection from violence. Basic services like health care, water and shelter are urgently needed in most areas. At the national level, eight million Afghans are food insecure, and a strong need for livelihood support remains throughout the country. Some 5.8 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan since 2002, including some 620 000 who have come back from Pakistan in 2016 alone. The influx of the returnees has strained the capacity of existing services and caused concerns over the living conditions of those returning, often after many decades. Meanwhile, a further 2.35 million Afghans are still living as refugees in neighbouring Iran and Pakistan and an additional 2.7 million without registration.
Moreover, droughts and regular natural disasters including floods, landslides and earthquakes further erode the resilience of millions of Afghans. The United Nations estimate that over 250 000 people are affected by natural disasters every year in different parts of the country.