Afghanistan

Photo: Sandra Calligaro for Action Against Hunger, Afghanistan
Population
32.5 million
Human Development Index
169 (out of 188 countries ranked)
Our Team
310 employees
Program Start
1996

People Helped in 2020: 190,563

108,320
People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
78,610
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
137,638
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs 

As a politically fragmented, natural disaster-prone nation, Afghanistan has long faced levels of chronic insecurity, internal displacement, and widespread poverty that has subjected its populations to ongoing hardships and recurring humanitarian crises. Communities remain food insecure for a range of reasons, from the cumulative impacts of multiple droughts, erratic climate shocks and seasonal flooding, a lack of infrastructure and limited access to markets -- problems that are especially acute among vulnerable populations in remote regions.

After four decades of conflict, the Afghan people are continue to be the victims of fighting between armed opposition groups and the Afghan national security forces. By November 2020, the number of people in crisis or facing food
insecurity increased to 16.9 million - 42% of the population. 

As many as 7 million people have little or no access to essential health services and 2.9 million children under age five suffer from acute malnutrition. The COVID-19 pandemic has had detrimental consequences for the population, weakening already-fragile food and health systems.

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Action Against Hunger has worked in Afghanistan for two decades, and continuously since 1995, providing a range of lifesaving services while addressing the underlying conditions that give rise to deadly malnutrition and food insecurity, ensuring access to basic services, and reducing vulnerability among communities faced with a number of threats to their security and well being.

We work to improve access to health and nutrition services for the most vulnerable people, who live in remote areas without local health systems. In particular, we support pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five, who are at greater risk of malnutrition. Our nutrition programs employ on an integrated approach, addressing both direct and underlying causes of hunger to have a lasting positive impact on nutrition status.

Our teams work in communities and at the regional level to strengthen the public health system. We also work at the national level to ensure that reliable information about the nutrition situation reaches the wider humanitarian community. 

Our COVID-19 prevention measures have been integrated into all interventions and, in 2020, our teams helped to disinfect health facilities and public places, provided cash assistance and psychosocial support and distributed hygiene kits to people impacted by the pandemic and its secondary effects. 

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