PRESS RELEASE: Two years since Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Afghanaid urges the international community not to turn its back on the people of Afghanistan.

Two years since the Taliban authorities gained control of Afghanistan, the withdrawal of international troops and much international funding, the ensuing humanitarian crisis that has gripped the country for the past three years shows little sign of subsiding. With over 29 million Afghan men, women and children in need of emergency assistance, and 15 million people facing acute levels of food insecurity, the people of Afghanistan have been pushed to breaking point. With many families also taking on extreme levels of debt to help them make ends meet, households are now under mounting pressures to pay back borrowed money, once again trapping families in a cycle of poverty and forcing them to make unimaginable choices in order to get by. 

Alongside these difficulties, deepening restrictions on women's freedoms has meant that a large part of Afghanistan's workforce are no longer able to find employment, exacerbating the economic crisis. Since this time last year, women have been subject to greater restrictions, such as through bans introduced on university attendance and working for NGOs and the United Nations. This leaves many Afghan women unable to achieve their dreams, or play the essential role women have in supporting families to recover and rebuild post crises. As a female member of staff wrote in January, "The public sphere for women in Afghanistan was already extremely limited but after the two recent decrees which deprive women from their basic rights to get an education and to work, I see that we are being completely erased from society."

Whilst Afghanaid has been able to continue to deliver more support than ever before - reaching more than 600,000 vulnerable people since the start of the year alone - many international donor bodies have been scaling back the funding they once gave to support Afghan men, women and children. This has resulted in some UN bodies being forced to make substantial cuts to their programming due to a lack of funds, meaning that many people in dire conditions may not be able to receive the support they desperately need this year. Currently, the UN’s 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan - an appeal for the funds required to effectively respond to the mounting need in Afghanistan - is only 25% funded, with clean water and emergency shelter projects among the lowest funded programme areas. 

To ensure the people of Afghanistan are not collateral damage in the ongoing diplomatic tussle between the Taliban and the international community around the rights of people, international sanctions and recognition of a Taliban Government, responsible re-engagement with Afghanistan is critical, and can be done through appropriate, independent channels that avoid legitimising or facilitation with the de-facto authorities. Through supporting NGOs like Afghanaid, and championing community-led approaches to humanitarian and development work, we can action 'bottom-up' change in some of Afghanistan's most underserved communities, and support ordinary Afghans to thrive in spite of the challenges they have faced in recent years.

Since August 2021, Afghanaid has been able to reach over two million people with humanitarian assistance, whilst also implementing vast projects transforming rural areas through water and sanitation, road-building and climate resilient agriculture.. 

Charles Davy, Managing Director at Afghanaid said:

“We must act now to ensure families do not continue to face acute and life-threatening levels of hunger again this coming winter.

"By prioritising the funding of development work in Afghanistan: rehabilitating the agricultural industry; supporting villages to be more resilient in the face of climate change; and enabling women to become more meaningfully engaged in society through training and small business creation, the international community can realise substantial change across the country and support communities to keep working towards a brighter, more secure and inclusive future."


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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 the beginning of the year, Afghanaid has supported over 600,000 men, women, boys and girls across the country with assistance, helping communities to access humanitarian relief, basic services, resources and training to strengthen their livelihoods, and to become more resilient to the changing climate.

In the past 3 years, Afghanaid has supported more than 1,160,000 women to enhance their economic engagement, inclusion in local governance and full participation in community life. This summer, their appeal It Starts With Her, aims to enable rural women to thrive through the creation of self-help groups, where they can learn new skills, access seed grants for small businesses, and invest in the potential of other women in their community.

For more information about our work, visit our website, or find us on Facebook, InstagramLinkedin and TikTok.

Recent project announcements

Afghanaid was extremely proud to announce a multi-year livelihoods project in collaboration with the European UnionWith an incredibly generous funding allocation of €7.6 million, Afghanaid and its partners will now be able to provide a comprehensive support programme in a number of provinces to secure the basic necessities of rural Afghans, provide income generation opportunities, and to support communities to apply climate smart agriculture techniques and restore agricultural land for food production.