The Afghan government and UNOCHA (The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) have appealed for $430 million this year to help the most vulnerable Afghans across the country.
The money will be used to assist 2.8 million people displaced by conflict or natural disasters with emergency shelters and food, to treat patients injured by conflict, to feed malnourished children or assist vulnerable families returning home after years in Iran or Pakistan.
“Life of hundreds of vulnerable children, women and men will be in danger without humanitarian assistance,” said Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. “The country is being in war, last year more than 400 thousand people have been displaced.”
Abdullah, meanwhile, said that addressing the human rights situation is the responsibility of the government and not its policy.
Armed clashes in the past year were the highest in a decade and civilian casualties remained near record levels. More than two million people were directly affected by the conflict last year, 448,000 of whom had to abandon their homes to save their lives. More than 500,000 people arrived in Afghanistan in 2017, many of them after seeking refuge in Iran, Pakistan or other countries.
“In many parts of Afghanistan, violence continues unabated and people need support more than ever,” said Toby Lanzer, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan. “Today I call on international donors to stand by 2.8 million people whose lives have been ruined by conflict or natural disaster, and to help people returning to Afghanistan from neighbouring countries.”
The response plan puts forward activities of more than 150 humanitarian partners – national and international humanitarian NGOs and the United Nations – delivering assistance to families and communities in need wherever they can be reached, despite difficult conditions including increasing attacks on aid workers.
“The Humanitarian Response Plan is a crucial part of the response to the human suffering and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan,” said Tobias Thyberg, the Ambassador of Sweden to Afghanistan. “After decades of conflict, we may not abandon people and saving lives with immediate assistance must remain our highest priority.”
This comes as Afghanistan had its appeal for $410 million in assistance for vulnerable people in 2017 which has received about 77 percent of the funds so far.