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ECHO Factsheet – Afghanistan (Last updated 02/10/2021)

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Afghanistan
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ECHO
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Introduction

Ongoing conflict, insecurity, and a drought in spring 2021 continue to cause large-scale suffering and displacement in Afghanistan and the region.
Despite the challenges posed by the withdrawal of international troops and the Taliban takeover, the EU continues to provide life-saving assistance in Afghanistan. EU humanitarian aid focuses on health care, nutritional support, cash and protection assistance, including areas not reached by government structures.

What are the needs?

According to the UN, Afghanistan saw a high number of civilian casualties in the first 6 months of 2021, an increase of 47% compared to the same period last year. Since the beginning of 2021, some 550,000 people fled their homes, bringing the number of displaced people to at least 4.2 million. Attacks against medical and educational facilities remain high.

The COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 spring drought, persisting political insecurities, and increased violence have further deteriorated the humanitarian situation. Coronavirus import restrictions and widespread unemployment have worsened food insecurity, with close to 14.1 million people (35% of the population) critically food insecure.
Due to the severe drought and withdrawal of international troops, 18.5 million people could require humanitarian assistance. Severe weather conditions – drought, heavy snowfall, flash floods and avalanches – regularly affect thousands of people and their homes.
Close to 760,000 people returned from Iran and Pakistan in 2021. The influx of the returnees has strained the capacity of existing services and caused concerns about their reintegration and living conditions. Meanwhile, close to 6.5 million Afghans still live as refugees in neighbouring Iran and Pakistan, many without registration or legal status.