Afghanistan: UN appeals for $393m to fund humanitarian agencies

28 Jan 16

The United Nations has appealed for $393m to fund the work of humanitarian agencies in Afghanistan, but warned the reduction in funds compared to 2015 meant action would be limited to the “most vulnerable and marginalised Afghans”.


The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that despite an expected increase in conflict-driven humanitarian needs, a tighter focus on lifesaving assistance has led to a smaller bill for 2016. $405m had been requested in 2015, which had been 70% met by donors.

UN humanitarian coordinator Mark Bowden said the humanitarian community will have to redouble their efforts and deliver ever increasing levels of assistance to those in need over the next 12 months.

The country is both war-torn and disaster-prone. Last year, the number of people who fled their homes due to conflict increased 160% on 2014 figures, while floods and earthquakes had also pushed people into need. As the Taliban gain increasing ground in the country, the humanitarian assistance needed is expected to worsen.

The UNOCHA said more than three decades of conflict, coupled with environmental degradation and insufficient investment in disaster risk reduction strategies in the country, meant Afghanistan, was increasingly vulnerable.

In 2016, humanitarian funds will prioritise the most acute needs of people displaced either by conflict or natural disasters and to provide life-saving interventions in health and malnutrition, the UNOCHA said.

This will include aid for an estimated 40,000 refugee families from Pakistan currently hosted by Afghan communities and life-saving nutritional support to 1.1 million people, including a quarter of a million children under five who are suffering from severe malnutrition.

Afghanistan’s biggest donors are the US, Japan and the UK. In 2012, all donors committed to deliver $4bn annually in assistance to the country, a commitment they are expected to renew this year. This includes development and government assistance, with only a small portion dedicated to humanitarian aid. 

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