A baby's arm circumference is measured using a MUAC band by a mobile health worker for Save the Children.
Save the children mobile health worker uses a MUAC band to measure a baby's arm circumference during a screening for malnutrition.

Afghanistan
Crisis Appeal

Afghanistan
Crisis Appeal

A mobile health worker uses a MUAC band to measure a baby's arm circumference during a screening for malnutrition by Save the Children. Photo: Save the Children.

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Key facts

Malnutrition icon

1 million

children at risk of dying from malnutrition this winter

Food icon

95%

of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat

Vaccine icon

9.1%

of the population fully vaccinated against Covid-19

Low temperature icon

-12 degrees

lowest temperatures this winter could leave displaced families struggling to survive

The people of Afghanistan are facing catastrophic hunger and it will only get worse in the coming weeks. We must act now to help them.

Families in Afghanistan cannot afford to buy food and children are dying. Health services are struggling to treat malnourished mothers and children as they lack medicines and supplies. 

The head of the World Food Programme describes the situation as “the worst humanitarian crisis on earth.” Over three million children under five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by March 2022, with at least a million of them at risk of dying. 

Even before the recent conflict, change of government and collapse of the economy, people were struggling to survive the worst drought in 27 years, the effects of years of conflict and the disruption caused by the pandemic. Now, chronic poverty and hunger have deepened and those who fled their homes in recent months are facing temperatures as low as -12 without suitable shelter.

Save lives

Help starving families survive this winter

DEC charities are in Afghanistan providing lifesaving aid but we urgently need your help:

  • £30 could provide treatment to three children suffering from malnutrition for three weeks
  • £50 could provide blankets for 10 people this winter
  • £100 could provide emergency food to a family for three months
JJ Chalmers presents the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal on BBC

Afghanistan Crisis Appeal with JJ Chalmers

Watch the video

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Teenage boy recites Burns Night prayer for millions impacted by Afghan crisis

A 14-year-old Afghan Scottish schoolboy from Glasgow has recited a Scots prayer for Burns Night to help raise funds for the ongoing food crisis in Afghanistan.

Arya Bostani, whose father Abdul came to Scotland from Afghanistan 20 years ago, has recorded a version of “The Selkirk Grace”.

The Scots-language prayer is traditionally delivered at a Burns supper and has been attributed to the esteemed Scottish poet Robert Burns after he is said to have recited it at a dinner held by the Earl of Selkirk in 1794.

Huw Owen, from the DEC in Scotland said: “This Burns Night, please celebrate that you have ‘meat to eat’, but also take just a moment to donate to the DEC appeal and help families in Afghanistan get the food they so badly need. Your donation will help save lives.”

Harrowing ITV News report highlights desperate plight of Afghan families

A devastating news report by ITV's John Ray has been widely shared online after highlighting the desperate situation facing families in Afghanistan.

The report includes footage of children barefoot in the snow, a school teacher offering to sell his daughter as he can no longer care for her, and doctors struggling to save severely malnourished babies battling for breath on a hospital ward. Some of the images are very distressing.

"The shocking and harrowing pictures that John Ray brought from Afghanistan - emacitated families, children dying before our eyes - must now spur us into emergency humaniatian action," former prime minister Gordon Brown told ITV News. "It's an emergency. People are dying. We've a duty to help."

Responding to the footage, DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: "The images that we're seeing in and around Kabul are the tip of the iceberg. In Afghanistan at the moment, remote communities are being cut off by snow, bad weather and other factors. The scale of the disaster is absolutely huge. It's devastating for the people of Afghanistan. This is why we need to help, now."

Appeal reaches £30 million as aid effort scales up

A food aid distribution in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan Crisis Appeal has now reached £30 million, including £10 million matched by the UK Government, thanks to the generous response of the British public.

The DEC's model allows donations to be released quickly, and within days of the launch of the appeal DEC charities were able to start spending funds raised. DEC member charities are distributing emergency food rations while mobile teams have been deployed to screen children for malnutrition and provide treatment. Cash grants are helping people buy stoves and a three-month supply of firewood and agencies are supplying winter clothing for families to stay warm.

But with 8 million people one step away from famine, there is much more to do. If you can, please donate today or help spread the word with our social media toolkit.

Jodie Whittaker: Hunger in Afghanistan is hitting women and girls hardest

"I have been supporting ActionAid’s work in Afghanistan for nearly 10 years, and in all that time I have never seen the country in such a critical condition," writes Dr Who actor Jodie Whittaker in The Times today.

"We know that in times of crisis, it is women and girls who are most affected," she adds, calling on people to support the DEC's Afghanistan Crisis Appeal to ensure our member charities can scale up their work before winter sets in and makes areas difficult to access.

Press conference launch of the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal

As snow starts to fall in Kabul, there’s an urgency to save lives

The people of Afghanistan are facing a crisis of catastrophic proportions. 22 million face acute hunger; over eight million are on the brink of famine. Lives are already being lost.

Saleh Saeed, the DEC’s chief executive, says it is ‘beyond horrific.’ With snow falling in Kabul and the cold about to set in to block off supply routes, aid workers say there’s an urgency to save lives.

A woman holds up a cake at a DEC fundraiser

Fundraise for us

Help communities in times of crisis by completing a sponsored challenge, holding an event or asking for donations for your birthday.