Afghanistan is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a child. A triple crisis – conflict, drought and disease outbreaks – is making life incredibly difficult for families. Time is running out for children in Afghanistan.

EMERGENCY UPDATE:


22 June 2022

A powerful earthquake has struck eastern Afghanistan, in the province of Paktika.

Reports are being verified -- at least 920 people are believe to have been killed, many more injured. Homes have been destroyed. The number of casualties is expected to rise. 

UNICEF is on the ground in Afghanistan, helping to provide life-saving support for children in need. 

The current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is dire, especially for children. 

On top of this unfolding situation, 1 million children are at risk of dying due to severe acute malnutrition without immediate treatment.

We need your support to help reach children and families in urgent need. 

Please, donate now to help provide life-saving care. 

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UNICEF is on the ground providing life-saving supplies following the earthquake in Afghanistan. © UNICEF

A triple crisis for children in Afghanistan 


Afghanistan is facing three crises at once: the worst drought in nearly 40 years, rising food prices and outbreaks of preventable diseases. Families are being crushed by poverty and hunger. 

  • More than 730,000 people have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict since January 2021.  
  • Half of the population – including more than 13 million children – need humanitarian assistance. 
  • Nearly 8 million children need access to education. 
UNICEF provides cash assistance to help families meet their basic needs. © UNICEF/UN0609817/Karimi

Too many lack families lack warm clothing and live in shelters that do not protect against the elements.  

“I cannot afford to buy bread and clothes
for my children.” –  Ahmad, displaced father
UNICEF provides emergency cash payments to vulnerable families that enable them to meet their basic needs with dignity, such as food, fuel, health care, clothing and education.  

Our teams have been in Afghanistan for 65 years and even in the face of the escalating crisis, our work for the children and families will continue. We have a presence in every region of the country – but we can’t do this without you.  

We need your support to help reach children and families in urgent need.  

Please donate to Afghanistan now. 
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Safa, 7 months old, is suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Her parents have brought her for treatment at the nutrition department of a UNICEF-supported health centre. © UNICEF/UN0596000/Qayoumi

Malnutrition threatens Afghanistan’s children  


Meet little Safa, 7 months old, who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition. During her first visit to this UNICEF-supported health centre, she weighed just five kilograms. 

Malnutrition is soaring. More than 1 million children could become so severely malnourished this year that they will be at risk of death. 

“I do not have enough breastmilk or nutritious food. After 40 days my children can no longer breastfeed,” says Safa’s mother Nooria. At the health centre, Safa is given ready-to-use therapeutic food. She will be considered recovered when she weighs 7 kilograms. 

But the threat of malnutrition is still there. Safa's father has a disability and earns an average of just US$1 a day. Some days, he comes home empty-handed.  
 
Our teams are working to reach children and families across the country with life-saving support, but more help is urgently needed. 
Hadi smiles next to a UNICEF winterisation kit. He is excited about sleeping with a warm blanket. In January winteriszation and hygiene kits were distributed to 400 vulnerable families in Kabul. © UNICEF/UN0581132/Fazel

 

How UNICEF is helping children in Afghanistan  

 
Even in the face of the escalating crisis, UNICEF's work for children and families across every region of the country continues.  

Thanks to support from generous people like you, our teams are on the ground:   

  • providing medical care to displaced families.  
  • delivering emergency water and sanitation facilities.  
  • vaccinating babies against polio and other preventable diseases.   
  • treating children for severe acute malnutrition. 
  • giving cash assistance to families struggling to buy food and clothing for their children. 
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How you can help children in Afghanistan

 

  • With $90 you could help to provide 176 sachets of therapeutic food to bring a child back from severe malnutrition. 
  • With $165 you could help to provide six weeks of cash assistance for a family. 
  • With $230 you could help to supply a health centre with 480 vaccine doses to protect children against measles and polio. 
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