The United Nations has warned of a “risk of systemic collapse” in Afghanistan due to a humanitarian crisis that is being made worse by the ongoing conflict and insecurity in the country.
In a new report, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that 10.3 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection – up from 8.3 million in 2017.
The situation is particularly acute for some 4.3 million people who are living in areas with high or very high levels of conflict.
The report noted that the Afghan government is facing “daunting challenges” in providing basic services to its people, while the rising number of civilian casualties is compounding the crisis.
The report also said that the Afghan economy is in decline, with poverty and food insecurity on the rise. It warned that the lack of access to education, health care and other basic services has increased the vulnerability of Afghans.
To address the crisis, the OCHA report calls on the international community to step up its support for Afghanistan, both in terms of humanitarian assistance and political and security efforts. It also calls for greater efforts to ensure the protection of civilians, especially women and children.