After 40 years of continued humanitarian crisis, Afghanistan remains one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies, driven by escalating conflict and devastating natural disasters. The combination of these factors has resulted in almost twice as many people in need compared to 2018, as projected by the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO). Displacement undermines individuals' self-protection capacity, triggering unwanted coping mechanisms that put them at risk. According to the 2019 HNO, more than 39% of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and returnees reportedly live in makeshift shelters, and 32% noted the need for adequate shelter as their greatest priority. Beyond displaced populations, the HNO estimates that 1 million people are in need of adequate shelter in Afghanistan in 2019. With emergency shelter and non-food items (NFI) provision emerging as a key priority in Afghanistan, the ES/NFI Cluster faces a number of challenges related to the need to ensure an effective response and delivery of basic lifesaving assistance, notably emergency shelter, shelter repair, rental support, NFIs and winterization assistance.
The 2019 Whole of Afghanistan Assessment (WoAA) provides a national and regional overview of critical shelter and NFI needs across multiple crisis-affected population groups. However, it has only a limited capacity to provide more nuanced and localized information to guide programmatic responses in the ES/NFI sector, and does not describe the unique differences in shelter needs between conflict-displaced IDPs, host communities, and non-displaced, disaster affected populations. This project aims to address these gaps by conducting an in-depth assessment of ES/NFI specific needs in four priority provinces of Afghanistan as identified by the WoAA and agreed on with the ES/NFI Cluster for the three aforementioned displacement strata. The project will provide UNHCR and the Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items Cluster (ES/NFI Cluster) with a more granular, sector specific understanding of priority needs across population groups in these provinces, in order to inform the Cluster strategy and programmatic response in Afghanistan.