Afghanistan: one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies

As we enter 2024 the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan remains critical. Despite fast-receding international assistance, Medair continues to assist those who need it the most, as it has done since 1996 in Afghanistan.


Over 23.7million people need humanitarian assistance

Decades of intricate and compounded conflicts, along with exponential climate change effects on food security with droughts, and seasonal floods have left more than 23.7 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. 

According to the World Food Program, half of the population of Afghanistan live below the poverty line, 17.9 million people have no access to quality and affordable medical care, since September 15, 2023, more than 471,000 Afghans returned from Pakistan so far, and the Pakistan border crisis is anticipating to compel more Afghan people to desperately cross the border. 

23.7 million people are in humanitarian need, which is more than half of the population of Afghanistan. 15.8 million people are facing food insecurity, which is over a third of the population.  The health system in Afghanistan is straining and stretching its reach to meet the needs of the population while facing numerous shocks, including population growth, returnees from Pakistan and a variety of natural disasters. The difficult environment faced by women and girls increases the challenges of accessing health services, finding work, and completing education. Masoma from central highlands, telling us her story of hardship “I had many problems, and I didn’t know what to do for my problems. I was weak, I had headaches, and severe pain in my abdomen. My family cannot afford to take me to a private health care center for treatment. There is no health facility in our village where I can go regularly for treatment”. 

Medair has been working in Afghanistan since 1996 and is supporting the Afghan people with a multi-sectoral comprehensive approach, providing services through health & nutrition, water and sanitation, and food security assistance.   


Through its dedicated efforts in 2022:  

  • 234,117 people directly benefitted from Medair’s programs
  • 80,582 people benefitted from activities providing cash to help them buy food 
  • 161,018 children and pregnant/ breast-feeding women were screened for acute malnutrition
  • 65,819 adults were reached with health and nutrition messages
  • 8,740 people with improved access to safe drinking water 
  • 485 members of water user committees were trained to ensure the sustainability of water points 
  • 72,408 people benefitted from receiving water and hygiene-related items such as water storage containers and soap
  • 63,325 people were reached with hygiene promotion messages
  • 18,452 people benefited from construction of water management features to reduce the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and drought


An example of Medair’s efforts impacting the lives of Afghans is highlighted by Janatgull, the sole provider for a home of 15 people in Central Afghanistan, “Thank you to Medair’s Food Security Cash Assistance Program. It will bring a huge change into our lives and, most importantly, I am now able to provide better and healthier food for my family and send my children to school instead of to the mountains to work.” 



Increased support is still urgently needed

As a needs-based organisation, maintaining our assistance programs is a question of life or death for beneficiaries,” says a Medair staff member. “We keep on urging the international community not to forget Afghanistan and to continue funding humanitarian relief in the country.

Medair works closely with local communities to ensure that its programs are culturally appropriate and reach underserved populations.



Afghanistan Humanitarian Needs and Planned Response Plan 2024 (December 2023) – Afghanistan | ReliefWeb

Afghanistan Humanitarian Needs Overview

Annual Report 2022