Afghan Women waiting for food from foreign aid Afghan Women waiting for food from foreign aid  (AFP or licensors)

Over 29 million Afghans are in dire need of Humanitarian aid

Afghanistan is facing a severe economic crisis and seeking humanitarian aid for basic necessities such as medical facilities, employment and education.

By Agnel Maria

From the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan on 15 August 2021 after the withdrawal of the international forces,  29 million people find themselves in need of humanitarian aid.

Healthcare facilities are inadequate, particularly in rural areas, due to a lack of skilled workers, machinery, electricity, and water.

The health system is not sufficient to meet the demands of the population since more resources are required structurally than are available.

According to UNICEF reports on Afghanistan, more than 15 million people are likely to be food insecure through October 2023, with 29.2 million people needing humanitarian assistance.

The previous government's dissolution led to the suspension of direct international development assistance, which had previously accounted for 75% of state expenditure, including maintenance of the general health service.

Suffering and ailments

Women are one of the most vulnerable groups, particularly when it comes to childbirth facilities.

The lack of safe transportation, the absence of services offering obstetric care for pregnant women in rural areas, and the decline in purchasing power make access to timely and effective care for Afghans even more difficult.

The ban on Afghan women working for NGOs and the UN has significantly increased the risks of vulnerable women and children.

Subsequently, the Taliban imposed the closing of around 12,000 beauty salons, leading to the unemployment of over 60,000 women, and resulting in further isolation for girls and women across the country.

Food aid distribution in Afghanistan
Food aid distribution in Afghanistan

Economy Affected

High unemployment and continuous inflation of key commodity prices have increased average household debt, challenging people's daily life needs and limiting the economy's ability to adjust to disruptions.

Afghanistan has witnessed a dramatic economic deterioration in the last two years, with an increase in poverty and a lack of essential services.

According to reports, "one in every two Afghans cannot afford the medicines they require for treatment, and one in every five has lost a relative; 5 out of 10 had to give up food and clothing in order to pay for health care, and 9 out of 10 borrowed money."

There are no ambulances available in the case of an emergency. 17 million people face acute hunger, including 6 million people at emergency levels of food insecurity, one step away from famine.

Even with two-thirds of the country currently in need, a further decline is highly possible unless the core causes and needs are addressed.

Significant investments in water infrastructure, sustainable agriculture, alternative livelihoods, gender policy reform in order to reduce reliance on humanitarian actors for emergency care and transition to longer-term support.

An Afghan woman waits to receive food rations
An Afghan woman waits to receive food rations

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11 August 2023, 13:09