PRESS RELEASE: Journalist and best-selling author Christina Lamb OBE launches Afghanaid’s By Her Side appeal with UK government matching public donations until 30th September 2022


One year on from the Taliban takeover, thousands of women and their families in Afghanistan are facing a food security crisis. Currently, 93% of Afghan families are not eating enough food, and this percentage rises to almost 100% in families headed by women. Afghanaid has been able to reach over one million people with emergency assistance since August 2021, but families still urgently need support to get back on their feet and build resilience against future crises. 

Until 30th September, every £1 donated to Afghanaid’s By Her Side appeal will be doubled by the UK government, up to £2 million. The matched funding that the public will unlock will be used to support women in rural Afghanistan, providing them with the training, tools and networks they need to generate more and better quality produce from their livestock, contribute to their household income, and increase the availability of nutritious food in their communities for years to come.

80% of Afghanistan's population are reliant on agriculture for their food and income, yet one of the country’s most precious resources - the skills and talents of Afghanistan’s female population, including their vital contribution to agricultural economies - is routinely overlooked. When given the opportunity, women like Arzo* can be powerful forces for change.

Arzo explains why life can be challenging for rural Afghan families:

“Right now things are difficult for people. Since last year, the price of food and other items has increased,” she said. “In the past, our animals would die every year. The animals we did have were weak and often became sick or injured, as we did not know how to look after them properly. We had to rely on what we could grow ourselves for our food, which was not enough.”

“With Afghanaid’s support, we have been able to make our lives better… Our animals are healthy and we have food to eat and a way to make some money.” 

Christina Lamb has seen first hand the challenges facing Afghan people over the past two decades. She said:

Since the Taliban seized power last August, people across Afghanistan have been battling a humanitarian crisis beyond anything I have ever witnessed in 35 years of reporting. Families have been forced to sell their daughters to keep their families from starvation. Supporting rural Afghan women to strengthen their income-earning skills is vital to help bolster their family’s sustainable source of food and income, but crucially, it also helps women gain confidence and respect in their communities.

“That’s why I am a fierce supporter of Afghanaid’s By Her Side campaign, as it gives us an opportunity to support women in Afghanistan to become changemakers in their communities.”

Charles Davy, Managing Director of Afghanaid, said:

“Near-record low precipitation has been observed in many parts of Afghanistan this year, meaning that millions of families across Afghanistan will continue to face acute food insecurity, compounding existing debt and unprecedented hardship. Mothers are often the first to forego food in crises, yet they play a critical role in the survival of their families and communities. 

“The good news is that, with the UK government doubling the public’s generous donations to Afghanaid’s new appeal, we will be able to reach thousands more women in vulnerable conditions, transforming rural communities through the untapped potential of local women.”

Find out more and donate:

*Please note: we have changed Arzo’s name to protect her privacy


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Notes to editors:

About UK Aid Match

UK Aid Match brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change lives and support people around the world. It is designed to allow the British public to have a say in how UK aid is spent and provide opportunities to engage with international issues, whilst boosting the impact of work like Afghanaid's.

The UK government will match all public donations made to Afghanaid between 30th June 2022 and 30th September 2022 up to £2 million, helping to double the transformative impact Afghanaid can have on women’s lives in Afghanistan.

Where will donations made to By Her Side go?

100% of the matched funding that the public will unlock from the UK government will be used to support female livestock owners in remote rural Afghanistan to gain the skills, knowledge and tools they need to maximise the health and productivity of their animals and create a reliable source of food and income. Half of the donations Afghanaid receives from the public will also support this work, and the other half will go towards supporting their general work across Afghanistan, supporting families to recover and rebuild their lives, adapt to climate change and strengthen their resilience to future crises.

About Afghanaid

Afghanaid is a British humanitarian and development organisation. Since 1983, our dedicated staff have worked with millions of families in some of the poorest and most remote communities in Afghanistan. We build basic services, improve livelihoods, strengthen the rights of women and children, help communities protect against natural disasters and adapt to climate change, and respond to humanitarian emergencies in pursuit of a peaceful and thriving Afghanistan.

Since August 2021, Afghanaid has supported over 1,136,000 men, women, boys and girls across the country with emergency humanitarian assistance to help combat rising food insecurity in the wake of the Taliban takeover.

In the past 3 years, Afghanaid has supported more than 1,161,000 women to enhance their economic engagement, inclusion in local governance and full participation in community life.

For more information about our work, visit our website, or follow us on Twitter @Afghanaid or find us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and TikTok.