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.

i X

Key facts

Malnutrition icon

1 million

children at risk of dying from malnutrition

Food icon

95%

of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat

The people of Afghanistan are facing catastrophic hunger. 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, 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 living without suitable shelter.

Save lives

Help starving families survive this crisis.

DEC charities are in Afghanistan providing life-saving aid but need your help:

  • £30 could provide treatment to three children suffering from malnutrition for three weeks
  • £50 could provide blankets for 10 people 
  • £100 could provide emergency food to a family for three months
A nurse looks after an infant at Herat Hospital

Afghanistan Crisis Appeal

Watch the video

i X

BBC News: Struggling to survive in cash-starved Afghanistan

22 April 2022

'Five-year-old Fazlur Rahman has a stage four tumour in his neck and Afghan doctors are battling to prolong his young life with chemotherapy.

He lies in an overcrowded and under-resourced cancer ward in Kabul's Jamhuriat hospital, one of just three cancer centres still functioning in the country.

At the hospital you can see the impact aid is having, but also why more is needed.'

ITV News: Afghanistan risks being a forgotten crisis as 9m people on brink of starvation

1 April 2022

Salam Al-Janabi from Unicef Afghanistan said the country was coming out of a "very difficult winter" where there has been a rise in preventable diseases, and a malnutrition crisis across the country.

"If this is no support... a whole generation are at risk," he told ITV News.

Mr Janabi said it is "shocking to see how emaciated and helpless these children are when they are at a point of severe acute malnourishment".

Report contains distressing images.

Al Jazeera report: Dire economic situation sees children dying of starvation as millions of Afghans struggle to put food on their tables

1 April 2022

Afghan parents are flocking to hospitals and clinics with “sick babies and children withered to their bones” as health workers struggle to provide necessary care and treatments.

It has been more than 24 hours since Farahanaz, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, has had a “proper meal”.

“As adults, we can manage, but when the kids ask for food, I don’t know what to tell them,” the 24-year-old former radio presenter from northern Afghanistan told Al Jazeera.

BBC News: The tragedy of Afghanistan's malnourished children

17 March 2022

Every few seconds a sick child is brought in to the emergency room of the main hospital in Lashkar Gah in a race against time to save the youngest casualties of Afghanistan's hunger crisis.

Amidst the heart-rending sound of dozens of hungry babies crying, and desperate pleas for help from their mothers, nurses scramble to prioritise children who need urgent care. There are many such babies.

One in every five children admitted to critical care is dying, and the situation at the hospital has been made worse in recent weeks by the spread of the highly contagious measles disease that damages the body's immune system, a deadly blow for babies already suffering from malnutrition.

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.