Photo: UNICEF Afghanistan/Nahida Ahmadi

IOM: 79% of people in Afghanistan do not have access to enough water

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) warns that 79% of people in Afghanistan do not have access to enough water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing.

In a Tuesday post on X, formerly known as Twitter, IOM stated that it has provided 160,000 people in Afghanistan with water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance in 2022, stressing that more needs to be done to address the water and hygiene crisis.

The organization has appealed for $33 million to provide urgent water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance to 2.3 million people in Afghanistan in 2023, saying that “time is running out and Afghanistan can’t wait.”

The water crisis in Afghanistan is compounded by other challenges, including the worst drought in three decades, a worsening economic crisis, and the effects of four decades of war. These factors have left half the population in acute hunger, including six million people on the brink of famine.

Earlier this month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 25 out of 34 provinces of Afghanistan are experiencing either “severe” or “catastrophic” drought conditions.

Additionally, Afghanistan is now facing the world’s largest and most severe humanitarian crisis with 29.2 million people requiring humanitarian assistance to survive.

The country also has one of the highest rates of malnutrition, with approximately 3.2 million children and 840,000 pregnant and nursing mothers suffering from malnourishment.

OCHA’s revised 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan requires $3.23 billion in funding to support millions of vulnerable people in Afghanistan. However, only 23% of the fund has been received so far.