Families in urgent need of food, water and shelter as thousands flee to Afghanistan’s cities

  • Date: 31/08/2021
  • Author: Jo-Ann Ward
Afghan woman beside old house

Away from the chaotic and terrifying scenes at Kabul airport, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding on the streets of Afghanistan’s cities. 

ActionAid Afghanistan is carrying out urgent needs assessments in Mazar E Sharief, Herat and Kabul. Thousands of people who have fled tensions in surrounding provinces, are in desperate need of emergency relief. 

Food, emergency shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, are urgent priorities in the overcrowded displacement camps and informal settlements where people have arrived seeking safety. 

Sudipta Kumar, Country Director of ActionAid Afghanistan, says:  

“Thousands of families, who fled rising tensions in their villages, have arrived in Kabul, Mazar and Herat with nothing but the clothes on their backs. 

“Pregnant women and new mothers are among those most at need of food support, shelter, water and sanitation. In one camp our team was told that some 300 families are sharing just one toilet. Tents for 10 people are being used by 50. 

“We’re deeply concerned that without immediate relief, families in overcrowded camps are at increased risk of Covid-19 and an escalating hunger and malnutrition crisis.” 

ActionAid Afghanistan

ActionAid has worked in Afghanistan since 2002. Because of our strong and trusted relationships with local partners and communities, our work is able to continue supporting the most vulnerable women, children and communities affected by multiple crises.

As part of our emergency response to the escalating humanitarian crisis, ActionAid is planning to reach 35,000 people with urgent food support, safe water, sanitation and hygiene kits for women and girls. 

Our teams are also preparing to provide vital psychosocial counselling support for people traumatised and displaced by the crisis. 

ActionAid continues to support families most in need in seven provinces across Afghanistan. We are providing education programming for girls and boys, tackling food insecurity and providing livelihoods support.

This work will expand to address the additional needs of displaced families and vulnerable host communities. 

If you would like to donate our Afghanistan appeal, you can do so here.

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