Supporting families battling extreme hunger: An update on the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal

20 May 2022

Food packages distributed to families

The coronavirus pandemic has made people in Afghanistan even more vulnerable, affecting income and the ability to grow and buy food.

As the world is rightfully looking at Ukraine, we have not forgotten about our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Our hardworking local experts are continuing to support families with urgent provisions of food, water and shelter as well as helping families headed by women get a reliable income.

Over the winter, millions of people were forced to endure hunger, extreme poverty and freezing temperatures. The United Nations’ World Food Programme estimates 95% of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat. The conflict in Ukraine has also had a ripple effect on the economy in Afghanistan, causing rising prices and food shortages.

Most of the population live in rural areas and depend on farming to feed their families. Farming has been greatly affected by periods of extreme drought and decades of conflict.

"Unfortunately the situation is getting worse not better. Many people are still struggling to get the food and fuel they need to survive."

Janet Symes, CAFOD’s Head of Asia & Middle East Region

Thanks to your generous donations however, our hardworking local experts have been able to support families battling extreme hunger by providing emergency food to thousands of vulnerable people.

How your donations are helping

Distribution of food baskets and cash to vulnerable families

A man pushing sacks of food in a wheelbarrow

The food packages are designed to last a family for around two months.

CAFOD has been working through local partners to reach vulnerable households in the Balkh province by distributing either food baskets or cash to buy food. Thanks to your donations, we have been able to assist thousands of families with emergency food.

Each ‘food basket’ contains essential products like wheat, rice, vegetable oil, salt and sugar. They are designed to last a family for around two months. The priority has been to support families headed by women or by people living with a disability.

Distribution of toolkits to help Afghan women earn a reliable income

A woman using a sewing machine

Toolkits - such as tailoring kits, weaving kits and embroidery kits – have been distributed to women in Afghanistan to help provide a reliable way of earning money.

An example of our long-term programme in Afghanistan is the distribution of toolkits in the Balkh province. Toolkits – such as tailoring kits, weaving kits and embroidery kits- have been distributed to women to help provide a reliable way of earning money so that their families are able to buy food.

‘I started learning tailoring aged 43, with a group of women of all different ages. I had to train, start my business and earn money all at the same time, because we are a family of nine and I am the only worker and had no regular income. After six months hard working, I learnt tailoring and was also given a tailoring start-up kit containing fabric and yarn’ says Farkondeh* who has received a tailoring toolkit through CAFOD’s partner.

Needs in Afghanistan remain vast

Unfortunately, the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. Women and young girls are the most vulnerable and often face discrimination. This is why it is vital for us to continue to stand with the people of Afghanistan. Thanks to your support this is possible.

"Our supporters are making a huge difference. Your response to our appeal was far higher than we expected, and we can help so many people because of this."

Niamh Furey, Programme Officer for Afghanistan

CAFOD will continue supporting Afghans who have urgent humanitarian needs both within Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries whilst also continuing to provide longer-term support.

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* Names have been changed to protect identities

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