Global perspective Human stories



The earthquake in western Afghanistan has destroyed a vast number of homes.

Now, more than ever, economic growth is needed to complement the ongoing humanitarian response. This is the only sustainable way to reduce dependency on humanitarian assistance, and meet the burgeoning needs of the population, an overwhelming majority of which is already struggling for relief from extreme levels of subsistence insecurity.  

Stephen Rodriques, Resident Representative UNDP Afghanistan, in foreword to two-year report on the country’s economy, 20 February '24


The United Nations is focused on assisting and supporting the Afghan people at this very critical time. The UN has personnel around the country delivering lifesaving humanitarian assistance alongside our partners and has pledged to stay and deliver lifesaving services for the people. 

On 30 August 2021, the Security Council passed a resolution calling on the Taliban to provide safe passage for all those seeking to leave the country. During a high-level meeting in Geneva the following month, the international community pledged more than $1.2 billion in humanitarian and development aid to the Afghan people.

Afghanistan is becoming the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with needs surpassing those in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Nearly 23 million people now face acute food insecurity. In January 2022, the UN and partners launched a more than $5 billion funding appeal for Afghanistan, in the hope of shoring up collapsing basic services there.

Information about the UN Country Team in Afghanistan can be found here.


UN agencies in Afghanistan

A mother and her children fled conflict in Lashkargah and now live in a displaced persons camp in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan.
© UNICEF Afghanistan
A mother and her children fled conflict in Lashkargah and now live in a displaced persons camp in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan.
UN Secretary-General
Secretary-General António Guterres briefs the press at Headquarters on climate change.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The United Nations presence will adapt to the security situation. But above all, we will stay and deliver in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need. Looking ahead, I call for an immediate end to violence, for the rights of all Afghans to be respected and for Afghanistan to comply with all international agreements to which it is a party. 

Afghans are a proud people with a rich cultural heritage. They have known generations of war and hardship. They deserve our full support. The following days will be pivotal. The world is watching. We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan. 
UN Security Council
Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.
UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Following the meeting on 16 August 2021, the Security Council issued a statement calling for a cessation of hostilities and the establishment, “through inclusive negotiations”, of a new government in Afghanistan which would be united, inclusive and representative, and with women participating.

Council members also appealed for an immediate end to the violence, and restoration of security and civil and constitutional order.

They emphasized the need for urgent talks to resolve the current crisis of authority, and to arrive at a peaceful settlement through a national reconciliation process that is both Afghan led and owned.

The 15 ambassadors expressed deep concern about the number of reported serious violations of international human rights law and human rights abuses, and stressed the “urgent and imperative need” to bring those responsible to justice.

UN News of the Security Council on Afghanistan

UN Mission (UNAMA)
Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

UNAMA’s mission is to support the people and institutions of Afghanistan in achieving peace and stability, in line with the rights and obligations enshrined in the Afghan constitution.

Deborah Lyons was appointed as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA in March 2020 and took up responsibilities in April 2020.

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