Afghanistan has always been one of the hardest places in the world to be a child but a triple crisis – conflict, drought and COVID-19 – is making life incredibly difficult for families.
Now, as the situation changes daily, families face an uncertain future with hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.
The current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is dire, especially for children.
1 million children are at risk of dying due to severe acute malnutrition without immediate treatment.
UNICEF estimates that 1 in 2 children under five will be acutely malnourished in 2022 due to the food crisis and poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Winter has already set in and, without additional funding, UNICEF and partners will be unable to reach the children and families that need us the most.
Please, donate now to help provide life-saving care.
UNICEF is there before, during and after an emergency. When others leave, we stay.
UNICEF has been in Afghanistan for 65 years and even in the face of the escalating crisis, our work for the children and women will continue. UNICEF has a presence in every region of Afghanistan. We will stay and help.
Since the start of 2021, more than 552 children have been killed and 1,400 have been injured, meaning families have lost loved ones and many children have been traumatised.
Over 65 years in country, UNICEF has nurtured community networks and built trust with everyone we need to get the job done. With 13 offices nationwide and a range of partners that support UNICEF in delivering life-saving supplies to the most disadvantaged. UNICEF remains committed to the women and children of Afghanistan.
Every child needs protection and peace now. Our teams are working to reach children and families across the country with life-saving assistance, but more help is urgently needed.
Please, donate to Afghanistan now
Internally displaced Afghan families walk past their temporary tents in Kabul. © UNICEF/UN0502861/Kohsar/AFP
A triple crisis for Afghanistan children
Afghanistan is facing three crises at once: escalating violence, the COVID-19 pandemic and the recently declared drought.
Half of the country's children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2022. Hunger is likely to increase in the coming months as wheat and food prices climb daily and the harsh Afghan winter sets in.
Afghanistan is one of the worst places on earth to be a child.
- More than 630,000 people have fled their homes; over half are children.
- Half of the population – including nearly 10 million children – need humanitarian assistance.
- 1 in 3 girls were married before their 18th birthday before the fighting worsened.
UNICEF will remain on the ground supporting vulnerable children and their families – but we can’t do this without you.
“It is particularly horrifying
and heart breaking to see
reports of the hard-won rights
of Afghan girls and women
being ripped away from them.”
Across Afghanistan, children’s education has been disrupted for two academic school years now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. © UNICEF/UN0518454/Bidel
Girls' education at risk
Schools in Afghanistan are now open after closing for months due to COVID-19 with both girls and boys returning to primary school.
Secondary schools have also reopened however, UNICEF is concerned that many girls may not be allowed back into the classroom.
Even before the most recent humanitarian crisis, 4.2 million children were not enrolled in school. Around 60 per cent of them are girls.
UNICEF teams are on the ground supporting community-based education classes which have already reached more than 77,000 children who would otherwise be out of school. UNICEF will continue to advocate for all girls and boys to have an equal chance to learn and develop the skills they need to thrive.
How UNICEF is helping in Afghanistan
Even in the face of the escalating crisis, UNICEF's work for children and families across every region of the country continues.
In just two weeks, UNICEF teams provided 170,000 people affected by drought with safe drinking water and deployed mobile health teams in 14 provinces to continue delivering basic health services for children and women.
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.
UNICEF has recently repaired two water points (hand-pumps) and drilled three new ones at this camp for internally displaced families in Kabul. © UNICEF/UN0506224/Fazel
How you can help children in Afghanistan
- With $80, you could help to provide 150 sachets of therapeutic food to help bring a child back from severe malnutrition
- With $160 you could help to provide two water and hygiene kits containing soap, gloves, masks, buckets, and water purification tablets
- With $230 you could help to supply a health centre with 480 vaccine doses to protect children against measles and polio
In the unlikely event that UNICEF receives more funds than we need to respond to the immediate needs in Afghanistan your gift will help support UNICEF's work for children in other emergency situations around the world. These are indicative prices. Supplies and shipping prices may change as the response progresses.