Seven-year-old Runa* from Jalalabad (left) and her friend Gul Bibi*, 7, from Kunduz, in their new neighbourhood on the edge of Kabul.
© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Afghanistan Crisis

The people of Afghanistan have endured crisis after crisis. Millions are now on the brink of famine and urgently need humanitarian assistance.

Suffering from the effects of economic collapse, the COVID pandemic, and natural disasters like drought and earthquakes, half the population is in crisis and in need of humanitarian assistance right now.

There are 3.4 million people displaced inside Afghanistan due to conflict, and more than 2 million refugees in neighbouring countries.

Many Afghans have fled their homes with very few belongings and are struggling to survive in appalling conditions, living in flimsy shelters and with little access to food and water.

Farishta*, a widow and mother of two, fled the northern province of Takhar when the Taliban overran her town.

After moving into a tiny room in Kabul, Farishta struggled to provide for her children while also sending money to family members who fled to Iran.

Farishta couldn’t afford food or rent and was sinking further into debt when she heard she had received UNHCR’s cash assistance. It helped her buy food, blankets and clothes to get through the harsh winter.

“I wish I could give my children a better future, to get them educated, but we are stuck.”

Farishta*, widow and mother of two

Farishta and her children look at camera. UNHCR distributes assistance to displaced families struggling in Kabul.
© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Abdul Sattar*, 30, fled with his family after fighting broke out in the Panjshir Valley and their home was destroyed.

The family of eight received cash assistance to help cover their rent, as well as food and other emergency relief items.  

“There is no one left in the area, everyone fled,” Abdul says. “My parents are traumatised and still haven’t come out of the shock.”

“A rocket hit the house and turned everything to dust. When we came here, we had nothing, so the assistance from UNHCR was a big help.”

Abdul Sattar*, 30, internally displaced in Afghanistan

Abdul Sattar*, 30, holds his daughter Munawara, 4, outside their accommodation in Kabul.
© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell
Stoves and Fuel

Your gift can provide stoves and fuel so families can cook meals and stay warm during the harsh winter.

Emergency Shelter

Your gift can provide emergency shelter to protect a family displaced by conflict.

Cash Assistance

Your gift can provide cash assistance to help families buy food and medicine.

“In summer, we only have to worry about food. But in winter we have to worry about finding fuel to burn, fixing the heating system, and falling down on the ice when collecting water.”

Gul Khan*, grandfather of seven-year-old Farhanaz* and five-year-old Najeebullah* 

Seven-year-old Farhanaz* and her brother Najeebullah*, 5, near their home in Kabul.
© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

About Afghanistan Crisis

What is happening in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan has suffered more than 40 years of conflict, natural disasters, chronic poverty and food insecurity. Facing an ongoing humanitarian crisis, the resilience of refugees, internally displaced people and host communities is slowly reaching its limit, and half the population is in need of humanitarian assistance right now.

Where have displaced Afghans fled to?

Most displacement in 2021 and 2022 has been internal – Afghan civilians are being forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in other parts of the country.  

Outside Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan have generously hosted Afghan refugees for many years and granted them access to health and education.

UNHCR welcomes these governments’ continued commitments to hosting asylum-seekers amidst the added health and socio-economic challenges of COVID-19.

How can I help Afghan refugees?

You can help Afghan refugees fleeing the country and internally displaced people by making a donation or fundraising for us.

How is aid getting into the country?

By road and by air. Throughout the crisis, UNHCR has continued to get humanitarian supplies into the country through the Pakistan border. When needs increased after August 2021, UNHCR opened a new road route in the north from Uzbekistan.

Is aid reaching the people who need it?

Yes. As well as emergency shelter, families have been provided with essentials like cooking sets, blankets and hygiene supplies. These supplies have helped people to survive, but the worsening economic situation means lives remain in the balance.

What is UNHCR doing to help women and girls?

UNHCR has advocated strongly for the protection of the rights of all Afghan women and minorities, and to ensure female staff can continue to work safely. As long as it’s possible to do so, UNHCR will stay and deliver in Afghanistan and continue to support women, children and men, as it has done for over 40 years.

Where can I access the latest data and reports?

Afghanistan Situation Portal – for the latest updates on the situation overall, including UNHCR situation reports, funding requirements and UNHCR’s support for neighbouring countries taking in refugees from Afghanistan.

*Names changed for protection reasons

Our fundraising commitment

The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.

78%
Humanitarian programs
12%
Admin
10%
Funding