As the number of displaced people and civilian casualties continues to grow, the European Commission has announced an additional €5 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Today's new allocation brings the total EU humanitarian aid for Afghanistan in 2017 to €30.5 million.
"Our new EU funding will reach an estimated 75 000 people and help them meet their most urgent needs, including shelter, food, protection and health care. It will boost our ongoing aid operations in the country, both in government and non-government-held areas. The European Commission will continue to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those most in need. Security challenges for humanitarian workers to deliver aid remain a challenge, full humanitarian access is needed," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
The Commission continues to provide humanitarian assistance to conflict and disaster-affected communities, including support to refugees returning from Iran and Pakistan. Today's announcement brings the total EU humanitarian aid funding for Afghanistan in the last decade to €756 million.
Almost four decades of conflict in Afghanistan has caused thousands of civilian casualties and led large-scale displacement within the country, and to neighbouring Iran and Pakistan. The conflict has intensified since 2014 when the majority of international forces left.
Almost half of the country is not under government control, with anti-government groups such as the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State gaining ground. Over 1.7 million people have been forced to flee their homes inside Afghanistan due to recent intensified conflict, and some 6 million Afghans are still living as refugees in neighbouring countries.
The European Commission's European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is one of the few humanitarian donors which have consistently supported projects in Afghanistan since 1994.