Afghanistan Emergency Appeal

Update: 01.12.2021


Years of protracted conflict, climate change and now Covid-19 and the current political turmoil have pushed Afghanistan into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Millions of lives are at stake.

The situation right now:

  • An economic collapse and rising poverty.
  • A looming famine.
  • A crumbling health system.
  • A looming cholera epidemic.
  • Mass displacement.
  • Gender injustice.
Photo: Afghanistan.


Families across Afghanistan are running out of food. 23 million people – more than half of the population – now face going hungry every day, and nearly 9 million people are just one step away from famine. Half of all children under five years old are expected to suffer from malnutrition this year. We are now heading into the coldest months of winter, when temperatures plummet below freezing, and many vulnerable families are at risk of perishing.

90 percent of people – including children and people with chronic or life threatening illnesses – do not have access to decent healthcare.

Photo: Afghanistan is heading for catastrophe this winter; one million children are at risk of dying from malnutrition, and 22 million people are facing hunger.

As winter approaches and poverty rises, conditions are rife for a potential cholera epidemic.Almost 600,000 people have been displaced within Afghanistan so far this year

Since the start of the year, escalating conflict and extreme hunger has forced nearly 700,000 people to flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere within Afghanistan, and more families have fled the country completely.

As needs increase, the current uncertainty and insecurity mean that much vital humanitarian work is on hold. It In recent years, even before the latest political changes, more than 2.2 million girls were out of school – 60 percent of the total out-of-school children in the country.

Our long history working in Afghanistan

Islamic Relief has worked in Afghanistan since 1999 and is one of the few agencies to operate continuously throughout this difficult period. We have a team of almost 250 staff – nearly half of whom are women – and projects in 35 districts, providing emergency relief and long-term development across the country. We work impartially, in accordance with humanitarian principles, and support women and men of all ethnicities and religions. Last year alone our work in Afghanistan supported almost half a million (484,777) women, men and children.

Photo: Afghanistan, circa 1985.


Right now we are delivering life-saving food aid to thousands of people suffering from the growing hunger crisis. Islamic Relief teams are distributing parcels containing flour, oil, pulses, rice, sugar and salt to more than 11,000 families in Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Bamiyan and Kapisa provinces.

We are also running eight mobile health teams, which provide the only source of healthcare for many people in remote rural areas, and distributing hygiene and water storage kits to help prevent the spread of illnesses. As winter approaches we are distributing heaters and fuel, blankets, clothes and shelter materials to thousands of families. We also have psychological support staff carrying out home visits to support people’s mental health needs after years of conflict and crisis.

We are committed to working in Afghanistan

Long-term we aim to work with Afghan communities and civil society to help build a better future for the country, where every person lives in safety, has access to food, shelter, healthcare, water and education, and has the skills and opportunities to earn a sustainable living. Our long-term work in Afghanistan also includes:

  • Disseminating vital public health information to reduce the spread of Covid-19
  • Providing seeds and agricultural expertise for farmers, and fodder for livestock
  • Increasing girls’ enrolment in school by training teachers and working with community elders
  • Providing maternal healthcare, as well as antenatal and postnatal care
  • Rehabilitating drug users and helping them to reintegrate into society
  • Supporting women’s literacy, and giving vocational training to empower impoverished youth and women to earn an income
  • Providing counselling and psychosocial support for women and children affected by gender-based violence.

We also support Afghan refugees all over the world, including in the US, UK and Europe – such as providing hot meals to new arrivals as well as legal assistance and mental health support.

Donate Now

Latest News

Islamic Relief's commitment to Afghanistan
Islamic Relief’s Commitment to Afghanistan

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) has a long and proud history of supporting the people of Afghanistan in their time of…

Islamic Relief Launches an Afghanistan Emergency Appeal

Tuesday August 16, 2021 Today, Islamic Relief Australia launches an emergency appeal for Afghanistan in response to the mass displacement of…

Famine Press Release
Islamic Relief launches an emergency appeal as famine looms

Today, Islamic Relief Australia launches an emergency appeal as the list of countries on the brink of famine rises. The…