UNOCHA, 23 January 2023
Afghanistan is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with a very real risk of systemic collapse and human catastrophe. In addition to unimaginable human costs, this humanitarian crisis is reversing many of the gains of the last 20 years, including around women’s rights.
The end of the 20 year armed conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan National Security and Defence Forces in August 2021, and the simultaneous takeover of the country by the Taliban, has ushered in a new era characterized by rapid economic rapid economic decline, hunger and risk of malnutrition, inflation driven by global commodity shocks, drastic rises in both urban and rural poverty, a near-collapse of the national public health system, a stifling of the media and civil society sectors, and almost-total exclusion of half the population – women and girls – from public life.
The collapse of the previous government resulted in a suspension of direct international development assistance, which previously accounted for 75 per cent of public expenditure, including the maintenance of the public health system. In the absence of development activity, the Afghan people are experiencing a backwards slide evidenced by the surge of humanitarian needs across the country.
This article was last updated on 10 Mar 2023