Charqala-e Waziraabad IDP camp in Kabul, Afghanistan. A man and two young girls are standing in the middle of a muddy and snow covered camp.
Charqala-e Waziraabad camp in Kabul. Photo: Christian Jepsen/NRC

Statement on today’s launch of the UN emergency appeals for Afghanistan

By Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council|Published 11. Jan 2022|Edited 10. Jan 2022
"Today’s United Nations humanitarian appeals come at an existential moment for millions of Afghans."

"As snow falls heavily on Kabul, we’re seeing increasing numbers of people slide into destitution. Many displaced families are shielding from the freezing cold in makeshift shelters with almost nothing to eat. As our nearly 1,400 colleagues on the ground work around the clock to distribute aid that can help protect Afghans from the worse of the cold, their needs are becoming more complex and delivering aid is ever more challenging due to the economic collapse underway across the country.

"Casual labourers and displaced people tell us that they could previously rely on earning a couple of dollars a day by moving materials and working in the fields, but now mostly return without money or food to their starving families. Without urgent interventions to address critical levels of food insecurity and international support to schools and hospitals, humanitarian needs will spiral further.

"Humanitarian aid is a lifeline for Afghanistan and a joint responsibility for us all. But this appeal will be meaningless if the outside world and the Taliban government does not work rapidly to ensure cash is accessible inside the country. Afghanistan’s institutions and banking systems are paralysed at a time when they are desperately needed to reboot the economy, help families support themselves and keep aid operations running. If we are to operationalise today’s important UN appeals and ensure pledges reach Afghan communities in dire need, international donors must devise and institute practical ways to ensure cash flows in the country – otherwise the humanitarian appeals will be in vain."