People Helped in 2017: 191,030
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 2017, the conflict intensified compared to 2016. Without peace talks and solutions on the horizon, the conflict will go on in 2018. The consequences are severe, resulting in 2,640 dead and 5379 injured, and 471,000 internally displaced.
Last year, 151,000 Afghan refugees returned from Pakistan, 71 percent fewer than in 2016. The shelter, food security and livelihoods needs in the country are great, the psychological impact on children and adults is major. Overall, 3.3 million of people now need emergency humanitarian assistance, about 10 percent of the population.
To respond to the crisis, we implemented several integrated projects in nutrition and health, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security and livelihoods, and in mental health and care practices. Our emergency response was scaled up and we led 12 nutritional assessments. In Kabul, 27,126 people benefited from our activities in nutrition (61 percent were children under five) and 9,000 benefited from our water, sanitation and hygiene projects. In Ghor, our teams implemented multisectorial projects and integrated approaches in support of the health centers and the communities in order to prevent maternal and child mortality and morbidity. In Helmand, we implemented integrated water, sanitation and hygiene projects, nutrition, mental health and care practices, and in food security and livelihoods.