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The Cost of Inaction: Afghanistan Humanitarian Crisis (14 July 2021)


Forty years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be a deadly combination for people in Afghanistan. Nearly half of the population (some 18.4m people) are in need of humanitarian and protection assistance in 2021. Nearly one third of people are facing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity and nearly half of all children under-five are expected to face acute malnutrition in 2021. Needs are being further compounded by emerging threats such as such as drought, COVID variants, and escalation of conflict. Protection and safety risks to civilians, particularly women, children and people with a disability, are also on the rise.


  • The humanitarian community is encouraged by announcements of additional support to come but the funding gap remains huge.
  • It is critical for donors to accelerate delivery on these pledges so that services are not interrupted.
  • Donors are also urged to consider additional commitments wherever possible. Any donation - no matter how small - is welcome and will help increase delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance.
Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
14 Jul 2021
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Update
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination