Assistance needs due to armed conflict and frequent natural disasters include food, healthcare, and protection.? With the increase in the number of people internally displaced by conflict and the influx of returnees, shelter and WASH needs have increased significantly. 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.?However, the high level of insecurity constrains access.?

The Taliban increased its influence throughout 2015 – including attacks on provincial capitals towards the end of the year – and this has continued in 2016.?? The Islamic State (IS) presence has been growing in the east, with significant activity reported in Nangarhar. ?

Abuses against Afghans in Pakistan appear to have worsened substantially since June.? This has resulted in a mass influx of Afghans from Pakistan back into Afghanistan, putting a strain on the resources and coping capacity of the Afghan government and humanitarian organisations. At the same time, thousands of Afghans are returning from Iran either spontaneously or through deportation, adding to the numbers of internally displaced and people in need in Afghanistan. In the coming months, thousands of Afghan asylum seekers are expected to return as a result of a deal between the European Union and the Afghan government.?

INFORM measures Afghanistan’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high, at 7.8/10. Afghanistan’s hazard is of particular concern, at 8.8/10.?

Latest Developments

15/01: An ICRC staff member was released, having been abducted on 19 December 2016 in Kunduz province.?
15/01: A roadside bomb killed seven in Pacheer Agam district, Nangarhar province. No group claimed responsibility.?
15/01: IS abducted 13 lecturers from the Haska Mina religious school while they were moderating exams in the Shpoly area.?

UNHCR suspended facilitated returns during the winter season from 1 November, 2016 to 28 February, 2017.?

Pakistan has set March 15, 2017 as the deadline for registered Afghan refugees to leave the country.?

Risk of below-average precipitation during the next wet season (October to May) caused by La Niña ?

By June 2017, the number of acutely food insecure people will likely decrease seasonally from a peak in late winter/early spring. ?


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Crisis Overview 2016: Afghanistan

The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016

Afghanistan is one of the 15 crises analysed in this report.

Read the full report here

Key figures

  • 9,300,000 People in need
  • 1,200,000 Displaced by conflict
  • 3,400,000 Severely food insecure
  • 3,700,000 In need of protection
  • 2,300,000 In need of WASH

Key priorities

Food security Newly displaced people are at particular risk of food insecurity.

Health services are severely underequipped and understaffed, particularly in conflict areas.

Protection: Civilians are often intentionally targeted by the Taliban. Nine in ten women are reported to regularly face physical, psychological, or sexual violence.

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Information Gaps and needs

Lack of information on the disabled, and people with special needs.

Limited information on the welfare and settlement patterns of returnees from Iran.

Lessons learned

  • Months of higher temperatures, usually from March to October/November, represent the Afghan fighting season, because milder temperatures make roads and other infrastructure, as well as mountain passes, more accessible. ??
  • Heavy rains, usually falling from January - April, often cause flash floods and landslides in remote, northern areas of Afghanistan.?
Key documents

UNAMA Report: Protection of civilians in armed conflict 2015



Limits and sustainability challenges for the Afghan National Security Forces

Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan


State of Afghan cities - Vol. 1

Watson Institute, Brown University


War Related Casualties Afghanistan and Pakistan 2001-2014

Arwin Rahi


Afghanistan's growing ethnic and linguistic divides