People Helped in 2018: 374,814
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.
As a result, Afghanistan ranks poorly on basic human development indicators, with millions dependent on external humanitarian assistance for their daily survival and an estimated four million refugees living abroad in Pakistan and Iran -- a situation that has grown more complicated over the past decade with the Western military intervention and infighting among armed groups.
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.
In 2018, conflict further intensified, and Afghanistan was reclassified from a post-conflict country to one in active conflict. Civilians remain most affected. 278,000 Afghans were forced to flee their homes and 263,000 were displaced as a result of natural disasters. Additionally, a drought affected more than two-thirds of Afghanistan and three million people, with devastating impacts to the agricultural sector.
This year, 670,000 people returned from Iran and 43,000 from Pakistan. Access to care and psychological support remains one of their main needs, as well as food security, shelter, and access to water.
Action Against Hunger's multi-sectoral projects aim to improve nutrition and health, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security and livelihoods, as well as mental health and childcare practices. Our Emergency Response Project met immediate and vital needs of those affected by ongoing armed conflict and regular natural disasters. Another emergency project targeted severe acute malnutrition.
In Kabul, 48,881 people received nutrition support. In Ghor, our teams continued several multi-sectoral, integrated projects in health centers and communities to prevent maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. In Helmand, our integrated water, sanitation and hygiene and nutrition projects cured 1,608 severely malnourished children and distributed 1,173 menstrual kits. In Badghis province, with the help of a local partner, we launched an emergency response to help people affected by drought.