Afghanistan Crisis Appeal Latest updates

Afghanistan Crisis Appeal Latest updates

ITV News: Babies die of malnutrition in Afghanistan

18 August 2022

The crisis in Afghanistan is already unimaginable and it is only set to get worse, reports* Rageh Omaar from ITV News.

More than 300,000 children have been admitted to hospital with severe acute malnutrition, with monthly admissions up 90% from June 2021 to June 2022.

According to Islamic Relief, 97% of Afghans are expected to be in poverty by the end of the year with almost 20 million of its 38 million population regularly going hungry.

People in Afghanistan still need our support. We will not turn our backs on them now.

*Report contains upsetting scenes

Afghanistan Crisis Appeal raises £50 million

16 August 2022

£50 million raised for Afghanistan

The DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal has raised an incredible £50 million since its launch last December to support people facing acute hunger, cold, and lack of medical care. The total includes £10 million matched by the UK Government.

"Donations to the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal have helped provide a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of those most in need," said Saleh Saeed, DEC Chief Executive. "Thank you so much to everyone who donated to this appeal. You have made a huge difference to so many people caught up in a crisis far beyond their control and desperately in need of help."  

A crisis of this magnitude is not quickly resolved, and the needs remain dire. Please continue to support the appeal and help DEC charities reach families in need across the country.

How donations are helping people in Afghanistan

15 August 2022

Abdul-Karim in Daykundi province

Abdul-Karim’s family is one of the many supported with cash assistance, thanks to DEC funds.

Donations to the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal are a lifeline for families facing hunger and suffering across the country.

In the first six months of the response, DEC charities have provided:

  • Over 243,000 people with cash assistance, giving them flexibility to buy essentials like food, warm clothes or fuel
  • Over 131,000 people with emergency food supplies such as wheat flour, vegetable oil, pulses salt and rice
  • Over 100,000 people with health services, including medicines, vaccines and maternal and newborn care
  • Over 2,900 mothers and children under five with treatment for acute malnutrition

Read more on how DEC charities and their local partners have helped families survive, and our plans for the next phase of our response.

Cash assistance is a lifeline for older people in Afghanistan

15 August 2022

Hesamuddin on crutches

Hesamuddin paid for food, medical treatment and bills with the cash he received.

If you’re an older person in Afghanistan you would likely already have lived through 40 or so years of conflict and economic crisis when the situation worsened in August 2021. Combined with severe drought and the global cost of living increases, many older people were left with empty pockets and empty plates. 

With funds from the DEC appeal, Age International has been providing a series of cash payments directly to over 4,400 families, helping them pay for rent and buy food, essential medicines, and fuel to heat their homes.

The needs of older and disabled people are not always met by traditional aid packages but cash assistance allows them to pay for items like suitable foods, medicines, fuel and rent so they can stay safe and warm in their homes. Cash is often also quicker to reach people in desperate need of support.

Fatima can go to school again, thanks to your donations

15 August 2022

Fatima with her school books at home in Afghanistan

When Fatima's father died of cancer, she and her siblings dropped out of school as the family struggled to pay for food, let alone school books. 

DEC charity Islamic Relief provided them with food parcels, thanks to donations to the DEC appeal, and the children are now back in school.

“After receiving aid, we experienced extraordinary changes to our daily life,” says Fatima's mother. 

Read more about people we've reached, thanks to your donations.

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.

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.

Afghanistan facing Covid surge amid hunger crisis

10 February 2022

Afghanistan is facing a surge of Covid-19 cases on top its hunger crisis, the World Health Organisation has warned. Although testing remains limited, almost 50% of the 8,495 samples tested were positive, al-Jazeera reports. The health system has all but collapsed during the current crisis, meaning that those who fall seriously ill stand little chance of receiving intensive care.

The WHO also reported major outbreaks of measles, acute watery diarrhoea and dengue fever, with the majority of measles cases affecting under-fives. DEC charities have also reported a rise in measles cases at their mobile health clinics in recent weeks. Mobile health clinics allow DEC charities to reach remote communities with health care and treat illnesses or malnutrition before hospital treatment is required.

Jon Snow: Help people of Afghanistan face 'toughest year yet'

3 February 2022

Former Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has thanked people for their generous donations to the DEC's appeal, urging others to help the people of Afghanistan face their toughest year yet. "The scale of the crisis is almot unimaginable," he said.

"I've seen some people questioning whether donations will get through," said Snow. "Let me reassure you, DEC charities have been working in Afghanistan for decades and they have negotiated independent access to the people most in need."

DEC charities are working in every province of Afghanistan and are providing emergency food distributions, mobile health and nutrition clinics, access to clean water and support for healthcare facilities. If you can, please support their work by donating below.

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

25 January 2022

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

18 January 2022

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

12 January 2022

A food aid distribution in Afghanistan

An Islamic Relief food distribution near Kabul. Image: Ali Gilani/Islamic Relief

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

6 January 2022

"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.

What the hunger crisis looks like for Kabul's children

28 December 2021

This powerful report from the BBC's Secunder Kermani gives a glimpse of what the hunger crisis looks like for children in Kabul. Instead of attending school, these boys are out working to buy bread for their lunch. If there's no work, they don't eat.

"When my dad stopped working, then I stopped going to school to earn some money," says 13-year-old Pervez. It's estimated that 95% of Afghans don't have enough to eat, and children are being badly hit. Three million children under five are predicted to suffer acute malnutrition this winter, with one million of these at risk of dying.

DEC charities are using funds from this appeal to provide emergency nutrition support for young children, and emergency food rations or cash to buy food to families so that children like Pervez get enough to eat and don't have to leave school to do sometimes dangerous work.

What your donations mean for aid workers on the ground

24 December 2021

Your donations are already being used by DEC charities in Afghanistan. Here's a message from Kristiana Marton from Save the Children on what the funding means for them.

An appeal by actor Bronagh Waugh

24 December 2021

“Children are dying today, and a million more are at risk of dying over the next three months. Each one of them a son, a daughter, a precious life, ” - Bronagh Waugh, actor.

DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal raises £17.5 million in five days, as HRH The Prince of Wales offers support

20 December 2021

Our Afghanistan Crisis Appeal has raised £17.5 million in five days, thanks to the generous support of the British public and the UK Government Aid Match. High profile supporters are urging the public to donate and today HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of DEC charity International Rescue Committee UK, also offered his support. He said:

“The situation in Afghanistan is truly catastrophic. More than half the population will face acute hunger and freezing temperatures this Winter, including 1 million children under five who could die unless they receive immediate treatment for malnutrition.  

“This is why I am so grateful that some of the world’s biggest charities have come together to launch an emergency appeal to support people in Afghanistan. 

“I am proud to support this collective effort to provide the people of Afghanistan with emergency food, nutritional support for children and Winter kits to help them stay warm. The International Rescue Committee has been on the ground in Afghanistan for thirty years and despite everything, they are increasing their efforts to reach those most in need.”  

The UK Government will match pound-for-pound the first £10 million donated by the public to this appeal, to make donations go even further and help DEC charities reach more people in need.  

DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal raises £9.5 million in first 24 hours

16 December 2021

Our appeal to help desperate families in Afghanistan facing extreme hunger this winter has raised £9.5 million in its first 24 hours. High profile supporters including Gillian Anderson have called on the public to act quickly so that urgent humanitarian aid can reach those who need it most.  

Urgent appeals to fund life-saving food, clean water and shelter were broadcast on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky yesterday, presented by actor Gillian Anderson and presenter JJ Chalmers, with actor Lenora Crichlow voicing radio appeals on commercial stations nationwide. 

The money raised will help DEC charities and their local partners to provide emergency food and nutrition support for children, support healthcare facilities and provide winter kits to help displaced families stay warm. Other priorities include supplying clean drinking water and protecting women and girls. 

The UK Government announced it will match pound-for-pound the first £10 million donated by the public to this appeal, to make donations go even further and help DEC charities reach more people in need. 

ITN Afghanistan Crisis Appeal broadcast

15 December 2021

This appeal with Gillian Anderson was broadcast on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky after the news on 15 December 2021.

“Currently, women and girls in Afghanistan are going through pregnancy and labour in unimaginable conditions without a home or enough food to eat, and with the healthcare system falling apart. Hospitals are having to close due to a lack of supplies and medics. Newborn babies are already dying from malnutrition. DEC member charities are working on the ground in Afghanistan to help. Please donate what you can to give lifesaving help this winter” - Gillian Anderson. 

BBC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal broadcast

15 December 2021

This appeal with JJ Chalmers was broadcast after the six and ten o'clock news on BBC One on 15 December 2021.

DEC launches Afghanistan Crisis Appeal with eight million at risk of starvation

15 December 2021

DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal advert featuring baby Habib being checked for malnutrition.

Habib* is screened for malnutrition at a health clinic. Photo: IRC UK

The DEC has launched an urgent appeal to help save lives as the humanitarian crisis intensifies in Afghanistan, where eight million people are on the brink of starvation. Appeals are being broadcast on 15 December 2021 to national audiences after the news on BBC TV and radio channels, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.

Conflict and economic collapse, coupled with the worst drought in 27 years and the Covid-19 pandemic, have brought Afghanistan to a tipping point. 22 million face acute hunger and one million children are at risk of dying in the next three months. Lives are already being lost. 

The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to call on the British public to help people in times of crisis overseas.

Speaking at the launch of the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal, Saleh Saeed, the DEC’s Chief Executive, said the situation is ‘beyond horrific.’ With snow falling in Kabul and the cold about to set in to block off supply routes, aid workers say there is an urgency to save lives.