CARE deeply concerned for women and other vulnerable groups in Afghanistan as the triple nexus intensifies
Afghanistan, 10 August 2021 - Afghanistan is one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world and intensifying by the day. Ongoing violence, insecurity, drought, and the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and livelihoods have further compounded the challenges that the most vulnerable populations face in meeting their basic needs.
Since January 2021, more than 270,000 people have been displaced in Afghanistan due to insecurity, economic challenges and drought, with the number increasing daily due to the deteriorating security situation. CARE knows from experience that displaced women and girls face greater risks, including early and forced marriages, and most women have limited or no access to basic services, such as protection or health care.
The drought and hunger crisis are also increasing women’s vulnerability. CARE’s recently-released Rapid Gender Analysis looked into the impact of the drought on women and girls. One key, concerning finding was that men were three times more likely to report having a balanced diet than women. In Afghanistan, when households are forced to limit their food consumption, women eat less, and less frequently than men, as feeding male family members first is often prioritised. This phenomenon is particularly concerning for pregnant and lactating women, who have special nutritional needs. And in a county where nearly 11 million people are experiencing acute hunger, it is an enormous issue that must be addressed.
The triple crisis of the economic hardship created by the pandemic, drought and the current insecurity leaves women in an incredibly difficult situation. CARE is deeply concerned that hard-won gains by women and girls are being rolled back.
CARE is providing cash assistance to those who have fled to safety at short notice. Cash provides families, who have often fled with just what they could carry, with the ability to purchase everyday essentials immediately.
Humanitarian organisations need the support of the international community now to provided vulnerable groups with much-need food, water, housing, livelihood support, clothing and items to help people face the harsh winter when it arrives.
It is imperative that humanitarian agencies are afforded safe, unfettered access to affected communities to continue providing much-needed assistance. Vulnerable groups in Afghanistan need our support at this critical time.
Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the largest and oldest humanitarian aid organisations fighting global poverty. CARE has a special focus on empowering and meeting the needs of women and girls and promoting gender equality and works in 100 countries around the world.
CARE has a long history in Afghanistan, establishing its first mission there in 1961.
CARE’s programs in Afghanistan focus on women’s social and economic empowerment, education, rural development and emergency response.