New York, NY, August 23, 2021 — In response to the latest figures showing the levels of internal displacement in Afghanistan, David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said,
“There is a double crisis facing Afghanistan right now: a visible crisis, of thousands of people trying to leave the country from Kabul. And an invisible crisis of millions of people across the country dependent on humanitarian aid, who cannot leave the country.
The number of people internally displaced by conflict in Afghanistan has risen by 53% since the start of August, jumping from 360,000 to 550,000 in just two weeks. Men, women and children are among those forced to abandon their homes and seek safety as violence throughout the country has dramatically increased. It is absolutely vital that the international community recognises the urgent need to deliver aid to those who need it most.
“In Kabul alone, official figures show that some 17,600 internally displaced people are acutely in need of humanitarian support - ranging from food and water to healthcare and cash assistance - but we know that this figure is just the tip of the iceberg. The IRC’s $10 million appeal will ensure that we can take the first important steps to help them and show Afghan civilians that they have not been abandoned.
“The IRC has stayed in Afghanistan through crisis after crisis over the last 30 years. Last year, we reached 1 million Afghans with vital services spanning emergency cash and livelihoods support, through to girls education and Safe Healing and Learning Spaces for women. The IRC is committed to remaining in Afghanistan, continuing to deliver support to its population, and helping the invisible as well as visible aspects of the crisis.”
The IRC began work in Afghanistan in 1988, and now works with thousands of villages across nine provinces, with Afghans making up more than 99% of IRC staff in the country. As Afghanistan struggles to recover from ongoing conflict and natural disasters, the IRC: works with local communities to identify, plan and manage their own development projects, provides safe learning spaces in rural areas, community based education, cash distribution provides uprooted families with tents, clean water, sanitation and other basic necessities, and helps people find livelihood opportunities as well as extensive resilience programming.
To donate to the IRC's emergency response in Afghanistan, please click here.