Australia must act urgently as Afghanistan faces its worst economic and food crisis on record

Help Fight Famine alliance

After decades of conflict and crippling drought and economic crisis, the humanitarian emergency is set to get even worse in Afghanistan. The United Nations has found current aid efforts will fall $800 million short over the next six months. The Help Fight Famine alliance acknowledges the $141 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan committed by the Australian Government since September 2021. However, with the situation worsening, it is clear the Government must consider a further commitment to avert catastrophic hunger and famine. The alliance has also called for a permanent raise to Australia’s annual Humanitarian Emergency Fund to $300 million in the next Federal Budget, to respond more effectively to rising global humanitarian need. Afghanistan is facing its worst economic and food crisis on record. An estimated 28.3 million people – two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population – will need urgent humanitarian assistance this year in order to survive. Nearly 20 million children and adults are facing crisis or emergency levels of hunger, including 6 million people who are on the brink of famine – one of the highest figures worldwide. A Taliban edict prohibiting women from working at national and international nongovernmental groups has severely impacted the roll out of aid leading to an increase in poverty. Women and girls are also particularly vulnerable in health and education outcomes following the Taliban’s crackdown on women’s rights. ActionAid Executive Director Michelle Higelin said “Just because Afghanistan doesn’t make the news anymore doesn’t mean there isn’t an unfolding humanitarian crisis. In fact, it’s getting even worse, particularly for women and girls who are experiencing the brunt of the hunger crisis.” “The Australian Government must step up its support for Afghanistan as the country faces a very real risk of famine.” The Help Fight Famine Alliance is calling on the Australian Government to push for the inclusion of women in aid delivery and to actively involve Afghan women in any solution to the hunger crisis.

The Help Fight Famine alliance is a consortium of Australian international aid and humanitarian groups and agencies collaborating to help address rising global food insecurity

/Public Release.