Afghanistan emergency

Millions of people in Afghanistan are experiencing misery and hunger amid decades of conflict, the collapse of the country’s economy, years of drought, and freezing wintertime temperatures.

Afghanistan, which has endured repeated humanitarian crises, faces its darkest time.

UNHCR and its partners have launched joint response plans to deliver vital humanitarian relief. There are 24 million people inside Afghanistan and 5.7 million Afghans and host communities in five neighbouring countries who need support.

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24 million

people in Afghanistan in need of vital humanitarian relief


people newly displaced within Afghanistan in 2021 (OCHA)

3.5 million

people internally displaced by conflict in Afghanistan by 31 December 2021

5.7 million

Afghans and host communities in five neighbouring countries in need of support

“We had no time to gather anything. We fled with only a blanket.”

– Maryam, 24, internally displaced Afghan woman in Mazar-e Sharif

Some 3.5 million people are displaced due to conflict, and many children are out of school. The health care system is collapsing, fundamental rights of women and girls are under threat, farmers and herders are struggling amidst the climate crisis, and the economy is in free fall. Half of Afghanistan’s population experiences acute hunger. Conflict has subsided, but violence, fear, and deprivation remain. 

Afghanistan is experiencing a humanitarian and displacement crisis.

More than 900,000 Afghans were newly displaced inside the country since 2021, the vast majority of whom are women and children. This comes on top of disasters including drought, earthquakes and the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Afghans already constitute one of the largest refugee populations worldwide, and almost 90 per cent are hosted in Iran and Pakistan.

What is UNHCR doing to help?

UNHCR is committed to staying and delivering in Afghanistan to protect the most vulnerable and assist Afghans with life-saving shelter, core relief items, community infrastructure, and psychosocial support.

Amid winter, UNHCR has strengthened its seasonal support with targeted assistance like blankets, stoves, solar lanterns, insulation kits and support for heating, clothing, and vital household supplies. 

More humanitarian aid is urgently needed. We are ramping up our response, and we need support to protect and assist people forced to flee.

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