As tensions have escalated across Afghanistan, thousands of families have fled their villages arriving in the cities of Kabul, Mazar-I-Sharif and Herat with little more than the clothes on their back.
“Many families cannot return to their villages because they have spent all their money getting to the cities. Often there is nothing for them to go back to because they were forced to flee during planting season, and they will have nothing to harvest,” said an ActionAid Humanitarian aid worker in Afghanistan.
Displaced men, women and children are in desperate need of emergency relief.
“The most immediate needs are food, clean water, safe shelter, hygiene and sanitation. Most of the people who have been displaced are women and children.”
According to UNHCR, women and children account for roughly 80 percent of the 250,000 people displaced in Afghanistan from May-August 2021.
As part of its emergency response, ActionAid is planning to reach 35,000 people with food, safe water, sanitation and hygiene kits for women and girls. We also aim to provide psychosocial counselling support for people traumatised and displaced by the crisis.
“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,” said Sudipta Kumar, Country Director of ActionAid Afghanistan.
“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.”
ActionAid continues to support families most in need in seven provinces across Afghanistan, providing education programming for girls and boys, tackling food insecurity and providing livelihoods support. This work will be expanded to address the additional needs of displaced families and vulnerable host communities.
As little as $70 could provide essential items like clean water and shelter for a displaced family.