Afghanistan Afghanistan

Decades of conflict and drought have caused mass poverty. Donate Now.

Decades of conflict and drought have caused mass poverty. Donate Now.


On the morning of 7 October, an earthquake of magnitude-6.3 shook Herat in North-west Afghanistan, where CARE has been implementing a cash-for-work project aimed at building resilience.

The district of Zindajan was the worst hit with at least 1,294 people killed, a further 1,688 injured, and 500 people still missing, but these figures are expected to change as search and rescue continues.

CARE quickly mobilised resources to address the urgent needs of the more than 12,000 people affected. The destruction of homes and infrastructure will affect thousands, including approximately 1,400 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from 300 families and a further 2,100 people who have been displaced to Herat City, where they are currently residing in abandoned buildings.

The team has identified that affected households are in urgent need of cash, food, and shelters, and also plan to distribute 120 dignity kits and 120 blankets to women and girls affected by the earthquake.

Please give today, to help us provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to vulnerable families affected by crises around the world.

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Half of Afghanistan facing a hunger crisis.

The situation in Afghanistan has been tumultuous for some time. Conflict forced more than 700,000 people from their homes in 2021; an earthquake claimed more than 1,000 lives in June 2022; and drought, rising food prices, COVID-19 and economic decline have contributed to around half the country’s population going to bed hungry each night.

“The triple crisis of the economic hardship created by the pandemic, drought and the current insecurity leaves women in an incredibly difficult situation,” says Marianne O’Grady, CARE Afghanistan’s Deputy Country Director. “CARE is deeply concerned that hard-won gains by women and girls are being rolled back.”

Fast Facts

Population:  34,124,811 (July 2017 est.)
Life expectancy:  51.7 years (50.3 years male, 53.2 years female) (2017 est.)
Infant mortality:  110.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Under-5 mortality*:  70.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
Maternal mortality:  396 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Adult literacy rate: 38.2% (52% male, 24.2% female) (2015 est.)
Access to improved drinking water:  55.3% (78.2% urban, 47% rural)
Access to improved sanitation:  31.9% (45.1% urban, 27% rural)
Labour force participation rate^:  86% male, 17.3% female (2017 est.)
Percentage of seats held by women in national parliament^: 28%
GDP per capita: $1,900 (2017 est.)

Source: CIA World Factbook, *UNICEF, ^ World Bank

Afghan families making horrific choices so they can put food on the table 

Marianne O’Grady – CARE’s Afghanistan Deputy Country Director has shared some insight into the experiences in Afghanistan for millions of people right now;

“They go to bed hungry. They wake up hungry. Everyone in the house wakes up hungry… The winter is setting in. Growing food is impossible. Buying food is getting harder, as prices have skyrocketed… Almost 23 million people – more than half the population of Afghanistan – are facing acute hunger this winter. That’s the equivalent of almost every single person in Australia being hungry almost all the time.”

“Many parents in Afghanistan are being forced to make the most horrific choices to keep their family members alive, and it’s usually the girls who suffer the consequences.  We have seen the reports of baby girls being sold so families have money to buy food. Young girls are being married off so there is one less mouth to feed.” 

We simply cannot stand back and watch this happen. We must act like lives depend on it, because they do. More funding is urgently needed to support the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people like Zarghona (45);

“I can’t sleep at night. I’m concerned about my children. I am afraid we will all die because of  hunger.” 

Resilient livelihoods

Afghanistan ranks among the lowest in the world in terms of human development (169 of 188 countries and territories) and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Since the agricultural sector is central to Afghanistan’s economy, it is critical to strengthen the country’s ability to produce efficiently and effectively, and improve job opportunities for women. Many regions have long-established farming practices, poor infrastructure, and limited knowledge of markets and the production process, and are susceptible to natural disasters including flooding, drought, landslides, and earthquakes.

From 2015 – 2018, CARE played a significant part in improving agricultural practices and production, ensuring households can access agricultural related information and networks. The project worked with vulnerable rural communities to enable households with limited access to land or employment to grow their own food, improving food security, income and resilience. The project has also seen vulnerable groups better equipped to influence decision-making processes relating to their livelihoods.

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Support our ongoing work to create a more equal world.

Your donation can help end extreme poverty and give people the means to build a better future for themselves in countries like Afghanistan.

For those living in extreme poverty, your support brings education and training, healthcare and clean water, nutritious food, and new ways to earn an income. And in times of crisis, you help us deliver emergency relief. Please make a lifesaving donation today.