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HELPING AFGHANISTAN’S MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN

Our work in Afghanistan began in 2001, bringing relief to children and families affected by drought and decades of conflict.

Moving on from providing immediate assistance, we now focus on providing long-term, community-based development programmes that help free children from the fear of ill health, abuse and limited opportunities.

Between December 2018 and January 2019 alone, we helped 670,817 people with food security and livelihood work and 92,323 through water, sanitation and hygiene, and health projects.

Afghanistan is one of six fragile contexts that World Vision UK concentrates on. It ranks 7.8 out of 10 on the INFORM global crisis risk index, so the need among vulnerable children for humanitarian assistance is huge.

Afghanistan remains one of the most under-funded, large-scale crises globally due to disasters, conflicts and protracted displacement. In total there are 6.3 million people with critical humanitarian needs – and 3.8 million of them are children. A staggering 17 million people are affected by continued active conflict and severe drought, affecting access to water and basic services, and raising protection concerns.

Children under-five are experiencing acute malnutrition, and this is only set to get worse, with cases becoming too complex to treat and a lack of means to give prolonged care.

Drought

Between June and August 2018, 263,000 people were displaced (Badghis and Herat provinces) by severe drought.

The drought has decimated farmers’ crops, killed livestock and families are falling into debt in order to survive. Approximately 13.5 million Afghans faced crisis levels of food insecurity in 2018 – that’s 6 million more than in 2017.

Flash Floods

More than 143,000 people have been affected by severe floods since March 2019. As of April 2019, flash flooding had destroyed homes and caused further devastation to Western Afghanistan. We’ve responded immediately by working with communities, partners and local governments to identify urgent needs to help in the provinces of Herat and Badghis.

Afghanistan’s children

Families with little left are coping in ways that put (already vulnerable) children at even more risk. Recent evaluations reveal that desperation is pushing some families to marry off their young daughters; they’ll receive a ‘bride price’ and reduce the numbers of mouths they have to feed.

Children’s health is suffering too. Our mobile health team in internally displaced people (IDP)’s areas have found that many of the children they see suffer from acute respiratory infections, chronic diarrhoea and malnutrition.

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AFGHANISTAN: EXTRA INFO

Afghan flag

Location: South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran.

Capital: Afghanistan’s capital is Kabul

Language: Afghanistan’s official languages are Pashto and Dari (Afghan Farsi)

People: The population of Afghanistan is approx. 35.53 million (2017, World Bank)

 

Figures from ACAPS