Press release

UK aid to provide life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of Afghans at risk from severe drought

The UK will provide vital food, shelter and clean water to Afghans affected by one of the worst droughts the country has ever faced, Penny Mordaunt announces.

An Afghan woman and child displaced by drought. Picture: OCHA/Philippe Kropf
An Afghan woman and child displaced by drought. Picture: OCHA/Philippe Kropf

The UK will provide vital food, shelter and clean water to Afghans affected by one of the worst droughts the country has ever faced, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced today (Monday 26 November).

Afghanistan has faced a series of droughts in recent decades, which severely affect harvests and can destroy the livelihoods of farming families.

Speaking ahead of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan (Tuesday 27 November), International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

This deadly drought is already affecting millions of Afghans, many of whom have had to leave their homes and livelihoods in desperate search of basic necessities.

UK aid will provide life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of Afghans, including food, clean water, and tents.

But others must step up alongside the UK, other donors must do more if we are to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

Today’s package, provided by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), will:

  • Provide tents and urgent relief items for up to 260,000 people who have fled their homes ahead of a bitter severe winter
  • Provide 602,660 people with food or cash transfers to buy essential items, with a monthly ration of special nutritious food to prevent malnutrition in young children for every household
  • Provide drought affected people with access to healthcare, clean water and sanitation so they can remain in their homes over winter.

The UK is the second largest humanitarian donor in Afghanistan. UK aid is helping to build a more stable, prosperous country for all Afghans.

Notes to editors

  • Today’s UK aid drought response package for Afghanistan totals £35 million. This includes £25 million of new funding from the UK Department for International Development’s crisis reserve fund and £10 million provided earlier this year. This brings DFID’s total spend on the humanitarian response in Afghanistan this year to £67 million.

  • £12.5 million will be given to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF) to provide immediate shelter and relief items to 260,000 people who have fled their homes, as well as access to healthcare, nutritious food, clean water and sanitation for thousands of Afghan families this winter.

  • £12.5 million will be given to the World Food Programme to provide cash transfers or food to 602,660 drought-affected people for 3 months.

  • UK support is helping to build a more stable Afghanistan that is less dependent on external support over the long term. The UK is supporting the Afghan people by helping to provide them with greater access to healthcare, education, and safe drinking water, as well as helping to create jobs, boosting economic development, and tackling corruption.

  • The Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan takes place on 27 and 28 November 2018, co-costed by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Government of Afghanistan. It is the latest in a series of biennial international ministerial conferences held since 2002 to secure Afghanistan’s long-term stability and development.

ENDS

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Published 26 November 2018