The European Commission has announced it will release €40m in emergency humanitarian assistance for communities in Afghanistan.
The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has worsened considerably since early 2018: internal conflict has obstructed residents’ access to basic necessities and services; nearly 3.4 million Afghan citizens are internally displaced, while a further six million are living as refugees in Iran and Pakistan. Severe drought in 2018 and flooding in 2019 has affected the welfare and livelihoods of more than 6.2 million people. The new tranche of funding will bring the EU’s total allocation of humanitarian assistance to the Afghanistan crisis in 2019 to €77m, comprising €61m to Afghanistan, €7m to Iran and €9m to Pakistan; and will be distributed according to the Commission’s principles of independence and impartiality to ensure the most vulnerable communities are able to access aid.
The humanitarian assistance distributed by the EU will be focused on supporting the most vulnerable families and communities, in particular those directly affected by conflict, natural disasters and forcible displacement from their homes. A portion of the funding will be deployed towards support measures for refugees returning to Afghanistan, Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran; and Pakistani residents who have been internally displaced. Aid will go towards support services including:
- Providing shelter for displaced individuals and families;
- Emergency healthcare provision;
- Food and nutrition support;
- Ensuring children who have had to leave their schools can access education;
- Providing clean water and sanitation facilities; and
- Protection services, particularly for women and children.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “The humanitarian outlook in Afghanistan is as bleak as ever. Not only has the conflict between the government and non-state armed groups intensified since the beginning of the year, but devastating floods have also hit this war-torn country. The EU is boosting humanitarian aid to help those most in need, especially children.”