EUROPE
EU announces €150 million in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan crisis

By Martin Banks

The EU has agreed to pump in an extra €150 million in humanitarian aid for the crisis in Afghanistan.

It says the move is needed “in view of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.”

On Monday, the EU said it had activated its emergency aid reserve to avoid a risk of famine in the country. This will bring the total EU response to nearly €150 million in humanitarian aid for this crisis in 2024.

This funding will support partners working inside Afghanistan (nearly €126 million) and responding to the need of Afghan refugees in Pakistan (over €11 million) and for humanitarian organisations in Iran (nearly €11 million), as well as strengthening disaster preparedness.

In Afghanistan, EU funding will continue to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable populations, notably in hard-to-reach communities. Aid will focus on food assistance, shelter, healthcare and access to water and sanitation. Up to €14.5 million are earmarked for Education in Emergencies, as 8 million children and adolescents need educational assistance, including 1.4 million girls that are excluded from accessing secondary school.

In Pakistan, over €7 million will go to respond to the humanitarian needs of displaced Afghans and their host communities. For instance, providing access to legal assistance, healthcare and nutrition, as well as education. Another €4 million will be dedicated to disaster preparedness in the country.

In Iran, the vast majority of funding, up to €10.25 million, will go to address the needs of displaced Afghan populations and host communities.

EU humanitarian aid is solely channelled through humanitarian partners working on the ground.

The announcement comes as senior representatives of the international community gathered in Brussels today to discuss Afghanistan’s food and health crisis.

An EC spokesman told this site, “Afghanistan remains one of the largest humanitarian emergencies, with over 23.7 million people in need of assistance.

“There is a real and acute risk of famine. Over 15 million people are acute food insecure, and pockets of famine could emerge if the current development is not reversed. The rate of children under five suffering from wasting and stunting is one of the highest globally, while access to basic healthcare is very limited.

“The country is also the second most exposed to natural hazards in the world, with climate change exacerbating risks such as droughts and floods. This spring, floods have affected 24 out of a total of 34 provinces in Afghanistan, causing extensive damage, in particular in the north of the country.

“The crisis in Afghanistan continues to have a negative ripple effect in Pakistan and Iran. Meanwhile, disasters induced by natural hazards continue to hit harder the poorest segments of society.”

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