In response to the growing humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday launched a $24 million urgent appeal to assist hundreds of thousands of people displaced within the country over the past two months.
Stuart Simpson, IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission, said the agency is working to scale up operations to meet the most pressing, life-saving needs.
Priorities include shelter and non-food aid; water, sanitation and hygiene, collectively known as WASH; health, protection, and humanitarian assistance in border areas, as well as emergency livelihood support and social cohesion.
Poverty and food insecurity rising
“Our humanitarian activities continue where possible, depending on access and security,” said Mr. Simpson.
“Large-scale displacement driven by conflict and drought, and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are increasing poverty and food insecurity, generating massive humanitarian and protection needs in the country.”
Currently, some 5.5 million Afghans are internally displaced, including more than 550,000 who were newly displaced this year, almost half of whom fled their homes since July.
“Inadequate shelter and insufficient access to sanitation and health facilities have resulted in extremely precarious living conditions for affected families,” Mr. Simpson said, adding “our response is dependent on unimpeded access and guarantees for the safety of all staff.”
The IOM appeal is based on data and assessments by its rapid response teams and protection monitors.
It comes on top of an overall $1.3 billion funding requirement for all aid partners under the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan, which is ongoing.
More than 18 million Afghans, or nearly half the population, already required humanitarian assistance, including 10 million children, with needs expected to rise.