Humanitarian Community Appeals for Support as Afghanistan Edges Toward the Worst Humanitarian Crisis in the World

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World Vision aid workers in Afghanistan
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HERAT (January 11, 2022) The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating quickly. One only need to turn on a TV or read in an article about the harrowing conditions that people in Afghanistan are experiencing daily: families selling their possessions on city streets; people, often women, are missing meals and eating fewer portions of food; children are being sold to wealthier families so their siblings can live; small children are sharing hospital beds and dying of malnutrition.

“It is like hell here,” said one Afghan mother. She described the condition of the state hospital she was visiting to get help for her acutely malnourished baby boy. The baby was too weak to open his eyes or even to cry; he was lying down, struggling to get air into his little lung.

Today, the humanitarian community, through coordination with UNOCHA and UNHCR, launched the latest Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) that assessed the needs in Afghanistan (and neighboring Afghan refugee-hosting countries), as well as developed strategies and activities to perform related to those strategies.

As a humanitarian organization that has been working in Afghanistan for the last 21 years and continues to operate despite the complex situation, World Vision reiterates the reports that the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is grim, especially for vulnerable children, their families, and communities. If we allow the current situation to continue, the HRP states that 1.1 million acutely malnourished children under the age of five years would be left without access to treatment services and up to 131,000 children could die in 2022.

Funding remains one of the major stumbling blocks for humanitarian actors in the country. The humanitarian community is asking for $4.44 billion in funding for 2022, and they are planning to reach 22.1 million people with it.

Aside from the funding itself, funding flexibility is also something that is needed by humanitarian actors working in Afghanistan.

“While many donors have generously stepped up, our work, like that of several peer NGOs, has been severely restricted by the international community’s counter-terrorism measures, particularly sanctions and access to finances,” explains Asuntha Charles, World Vision’s national director in Afghanistan. “Insufficient liquidity in the financial sector has restricted capabilities in maintaining services,” she said.

“Pledges of funding must be made a reality and available on the ground,” she said. “Those who are already suffering must now endure several freezing, sometimes brutal, winter months without enough food and any means to stay warm. The humanitarian community needs to scale up their activities, and they need to see more money coming unhindered into the country now. Afghan children are full of potential, and World Vision commits to support them. They cannot wait. They need our help, and they need it today.”

World Vision has been working in Afghanistan since 2001 and is committed to #StayAndDeliver. For 21 years World Vision has worked to address massive life-saving humanitarian needs brought about by conflict, climate change, and other disasters to around six million Afghans. World Vision has worked to protect girls and boys, provided them with education, promoted better health and sanitation, and helped to build livelihoods.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.