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.

Crisis Appeal

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

famine icon

6.6 million

people are one step away from famine, with 19 million acutely food insecure

Malnutrition icon

1 million

children are acutely malnourished, putting their lives at risk

Paktika earthquake

An earthquake struck Paktika province in the south-west of Afghanistan on June 22, causing large scale damage and reportedly killing at least 1,000 people and injuring 3,000. DEC charities are drawing on funds from this appeal as part of their response while continuing to help families across the country to survive the hunger crisis.

Drought and economic collapse have pushed millions of people in Afghanistan to the brink of famine. DEC charities have been providing a lifeline to tens of thousands of people. But the situation remains dire.

World food prices have spiked to their highest ever levels as vital grain exports from Ukraine and Russia are affected by the conflict there. Meanwhile, the harvest in many regions of Afghanistan looks set to fail yet again. For people already struggling to afford food in Afghanistan, this crisis is getting worse.

An estimated 95% of the population do not have enough to eat and increased food prices are pushing people teetering on the brink of starvation over the edge. Over two thirds of parents are restricting their own meals just so their children can eat, and this number is on the rise. 

Thanks to the generosity of the British public, DEC charities have helped get people through the winter - running mobile clinics, providing nutrition support for acutely malnourished children, distributing food and blankets, giving cash assistance, and much more.

We cannot abandon them now. We must continue to provide life-saving support for today, while helping rebuild livelihoods and getting people back on their feet for tomorrow. 

Save lives

Help starving families survive this crisis.

Ali, an Afghan father whose family benefited from donations to the DEC appeal.

Ali, an Afghan father whose family benefited from donations to the DEC appeal. Image: Muhammad Muhsen Rasekh/DEC

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‘We managed to cook and survive’

Ali depends on work as a day labourer to feed his children in Afghanistan, but work has become scarce. “I can’t provide food three times a day," he says. "Sometimes they just get to eat half a meal because there is no work.”

Like many Afghan parents, Ali had been forced to consider desperate measures to provide food. “Had the assistance not arrived,” he says, “I would have had no choice but to sell my daughter or son in order to save the rest of them.”

Thanks to donations to this appeal, Ali’s family received food packages and cooking utensils from DEC charity Islamic Relief to see them through the lean winter months. "We managed to cook and survive,” he says.

Aid workers unload sacks of food aid in Afghanistan

Aid workers for the Afghan Red Crescent move sacks of food aid in November 2021. Image: Afghan Red Crescent/Meer Abdullah

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Fundraise for us

Rally friends and colleagues to support the aid effort and help Afghan families through this crisis by taking on a sponsored challenge, holding an event or asking for donations for your birthday.

Find links, resources and inspiration on our fundraising page.

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

Earthquake adds to suffering in Afghanistan where over 6.6 million people are on the brink of famine

23 June 2022

A truck delivers aid after an earthquake in Afghanistan

A truck organised by ActionAid delivers aid in Paktika province following the earthquake there.

The deadly earthquake in Afghanistan's Paktika province has killed over 1,000 people and injured at least 1,500 more.

Several DEC member charities are responding to help people affected and are drawing on donations to this appeal. DEC charities were already active in Paktika and neighbouring provinces where they are providing life-saving aid in response to the ongoing hunger crisis.

Afghanistan is prone to natural disasters, with around 560 people dying every year due to earthquakes, but this one is particularly severe and has caused large scale damage in a remote and impoverished province.

The food crisis remains severe in Afghanistan, with 6.6 million people one step away from famine and a million children acutely malnourished, putting their lives at risk. The situation remains dire as the conflict in Ukraine causes food prices to spike and another failed harvest looks likely.

The DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal has raised £48 million to date and remains open for donations. Please donate today to help save lives.

BBC News Afghanistan quake: Many children killed in disaster, doctors say

23 June 2022

Doctors in Afghanistan have told the BBC that many children may have been killed in Wednesday's earthquake.

More than 1,000 people died in the disaster and heavy rain, threadbare resources and rugged terrain are hampering rescue workers.

Unknown numbers were buried in the rubble of ruined, often mud-built homes by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake.

How donations are helping people in Afghanistan

16 June 2022

Ali Hassan with his wife and children

Donations to the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal have allowed the 13 DEC members who are responding to the crisis to scale up their emergency support over the past six months.

With funds from the appeal they are providing emergency cash; life-saving shelter, fuel and blankets to help families survive the harsh Afghan winter; food packages and cash for food; access to healthcare including support for malnourished children; and water, sanitation and hygiene services, for tens of thousands of people.

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.'