Afghanistan

Three Afghan children looking at the camera
Members of vulnerable communities, such as these children, benefit from USAID humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
Patricia Hampton/USAID

Latest Afghanistan Fact Sheet

Key Developments

Ongoing armed conflict and recurring natural hazards, such as avalanches, earthquakes, and flooding, continue to generate significant humanitarian needs throughout Afghanistan. The conflict has intensified during recent fighting seasons, increasing civilian casualties and displacement in the country. In addition, the deterioration of the refugee hosting environment in Pakistan has resulted in a surge of Afghan returnees who require humanitarian assistance. Together, the increase in conflict-induced internal displacement and the surge in returns have strained the response capacity of local communities, humanitarian agencies, and the Government of Afghanistan. The UN projects that approximately 1 million people will remain internally displaced in 2017, including 300,000–400,000 conflict-displaced persons and 600,000 returnees.

During the first three months of 2017, humanitarian staff were involved or targeted in 92 security-related events, resulting in the deaths of seven aid workers and injuries to four, the UN reports. On February 8, six staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross were killed in Jawzjan Province during an ambush of a convoy transporting humanitarian assistance. Throughout 2016, 15 aid workers died while providing assistance to people in need.

 

Background

Since 2002, conflict and frequent natural disasters have displaced populations and generated significant humanitarian needs throughout Afghanistan. Recurring natural disasters, including drought, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and avalanches, affect approximately 250,000 Afghans each year, and more than 631,000 people remain internally displaced as a result of conflict, the U.N. reports. Between January and June 2013, natural disasters—primarily flooding, avalanches, and extreme winter conditions—killed or injured 280 people, affected an estimated 140,000 others, and damaged or destroyed approximately 21,000 homes throughout the country. In addition, repeated and protracted displacement has placed pressure on host communities’ limited resources, resulting in instability and increased humanitarian needs.

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Last updated: April 19, 2017

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