Photo: Håkan Dahlström

EU Allocates €61 Million Financial Support for Afghanistan

The European Union (EU) has announced the allocation of €61 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, with the aim of addressing the pressing needs of its vulnerable population and refugees in neighboring Pakistan.

In a statement on Wednesday, November 8, the EU’s delegation in Afghanistan outlined the distribution of the funding, with €60 million allocated to humanitarian organizations operating within Afghanistan and €1 million dedicated to those in Pakistan.

The EU’s financial support will primarily target the country’s severe food crisis, which affects nearly half of the population. It will also address other critical needs, including shelter, protection, healthcare, nutrition, water, and sanitation, particularly for those impacted by the recent earthquakes in western Afghanistan. A portion of the funding will support Afghan refugees returning to Afghanistan, focusing on protection monitoring and immediate assistance in host communities.

“The humanitarian needs of Afghan people remain very worrying, even more following the devastating earthquakes. stated Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management. “The EU acted immediately after the disaster with a first emergency aid package, and now we add a substantial increase in funding to help the Afghan population still struggling in the affected areas but also across the country, as well as those that are still in Pakistan or returning,” Lenarčič added.

Afghanistan is currently grappling with one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises. According to the United Nations, over 29 million people in the country require urgent humanitarian assistance. A recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) alarmingly revealed that 35% of Afghanistan’s population is facing a severe food crisis. This crisis, exacerbated by ongoing internal conflict, displacement, and economic issues, has pushed over 15 million citizens into the third degree of food insecurity, with over 3 million experiencing an emergency state of food insecurity. The recent devastating earthquake in western Herat province, which impacted over 120,000 people and destroyed nearly 20,000 homes, and the forced repatriation of refugees from Pakistan have further exacerbated the already dire humanitarian crisis in the country.

The EU says that since 2021, an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Kabul has been organized in the framework of the European Humanitarian Response Capacity, which aims at filling gaps in the humanitarian response to natural and human-made disasters. By early October, 31 flights had been completed, delivering over 1,340 tons of life-saving aid. In late October, the EU also announced €15 million in funding to support women-led local businesses and young entrepreneurs in Afghanistan.