The security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. The pace of families fleeing their homes has intensified due to conflict and hundreds of thousands of newly displaced people need emergency support now. Many Afghans fear that hard-won development gains, particularly for women and girls, will disappear. While the world watches and waits to see what unfolds, humanitarian needs are mounting.
The country already had 2.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs) prior to 2021, and the pace of families fleeing their homes has intensified due to conflict and drought. Drought conditions were made worse by a warm winter with rain and snowfall at half their usual levels, which has led to crop failures and food shortages.
The combination of food insecurity, poverty and income loss, displacement, and armed conflict has created immense challenges for many people across the country and increases protection risks, especially for women and girls.
It is anticipated that risks to women and girls, including early and forced marriages, will increase. This is especially concerning given the already high rates of gender-based violence in Afghanistan.
Donate now to rush emergency aid to Afghan families.
CARE has worked in Afghanistan since 1961. We are a trusted provider of humanitarian assistance, with strong relationships in local communities.
CARE is continuously monitoring the ongoing events in Afghanistan and is in close contact with our team as they assess the rapidly changing situation. We remain committed to stand by those in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Our team has the experience and access they need to act quickly, as well as strong relationships with communities and local stakeholders, which helps ensure humanitarian access even in worsening conditions.
CARE is committed to staying in Afghanistan and continuing our programmatic work; however, like other humanitarian organizations, we have had to temporarily suspend some of our activities and field operations because of the security situation. CARE has exceptional acceptance in the communities where we work, and these local relationships will help facilitate the safe and speedy resumption of our programming. As the situation continues to evolve, meeting humanitarian needs will be even more critical due to the increasing number of people fleeing their homes.
To meet these needs, CARE will soon return to distributing multi-purpose cash to internally displaced people who have recently arrived in Kabul. Women and girls need access to menstrual hygiene products, food, health services that include gender-based violence support, and the ability to make choices in their households on how money is spent. The multi-purpose cash allows recipients to choose how they use funds, and we are prioritizing women-led households.
In the short term, CARE will provide cash transfers to each IDP household to cover their needs for two months. This also will support the local economy and the livelihoods of host communities, which have been severely impacted as well by the worsening crisis. To prevent further risks of COVID-19 transmission, CARE also will provide hygiene kits.
With additional funding, CARE can increase access to the following types of support for 500,000 vulnerable Afghans:
- Health services through community- and health facility-based services.
- Nutritional services and treatment of malnutrition.
- Food and livelihood opportunities through both short- and medium-term support, with a focus on cash-based assistance.
- Shelter materials and other non-food relief items.
- Education services through CARE’s proven education in emergency approach.
- Cross-border support as possible and needed for refugees seeking shelter in neighbouring countries.