As a freezing winter sets in, millions of people in Afghanistan are facing a deepening crisis.    

An escalating humanitarian crisis, severe drought and the Covid-19 pandemic have left more than half of the population of Afghanistan – 22 million people – facing acute hunger. This devastating level of need is only likely to rise as the harsh winter months go by.   

Banks remain closed and unemployment is rising. High levels of inflation have seen the price of essential items like oil and rice soar. Millions are unable to afford to feed their families.  

And women and girls are most at risk as the crisis forces families to flee their homes in search of work and safety. 

ActionAid is aiming to reach 10,000 families with life-saving aid. This includes cash support to help families buy food and essentials like fuel, heating equipment, winter clothing and blankets. Women are receiving hygiene kits with supplies like soap and sanitary pads.   

We need to act now to save lives. Please donate now. 

DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal: how can I help?

Your gift to the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal can help people in urgent need.

Donation value


could provide blankets for one family of seven for the winter months


could provide emergency food to a family who have lost their home, for 45 days


could provide a winter package with heating equipment for a family of seven

Or choose your own amount to give


DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal: ActionAid's response

ActionAid aims to reach 10,000 families in four provinces of Afghanistan - Herat, Kabul, Ghor and Belkh - with emergency support this winter. 

Along with food, winter kits and cash support, we are providing psychosocial counselling to people whose lives are being devastated by conflict, severe drought and hunger.

Sudipta Kumar, Country Director of ActionAid Afghanistan, says:

“In Herat and across Afghanistan, many families are facing a desperate situation as winter sets in. People displaced by conflict and severe drought are arriving in cities with nothing, there are no jobs available to pay for food, rent and fuel to heat their homes. 

“Freezing temperatures and heavy snowstorms are intensifying an already devastating humanitarian crisis, with more than half the population facing severe hunger and malnutrition.

“One of the women I met was shivering as she told me that her family is surviving on Kushk naan (flatbread), and chai (tea). She said their most urgent needs are food and fuel for heating.

“ActionAid is reaching some of the families most at risk, but there are many more in urgent need of support.” 

Surviving the winter in Afghanistan

Sara*, 57 is from the Ghor province of Afghanistan and depended on farming to make a living. Her family lost 90% of their wheat crop in 2021 due to drought and were forced to sell off their livestock to survive.

Sara and her family left their home village and travelled to the capital, Firozkoh, in search of work and are staying with relatives. They are struggling to find work and often go to sleep hungry.

As winter sets in, Sara said their most urgent needs are food, blankets and fuel to heat their home.

My family fled our hometown because we did not have enough food to survive there any longer. I was afraid of the humanitarian crisis which might result in the death of my family members.”

"Once or twice a week my son could find work... We buy only bread, but during this cold winter, we need warm clothes, blankets, and fuel to protect ourselves from the cold. 

"I can manage to buy flour, oil, basic food and heating items with the cash support from ActionAid. This will prevent my family facing hunger and cold. The more you support, the more we can survive.”

ActionAid is providing cash support and hygiene kits for women and girls to families like Sara’s who have been displaced by drought, Covid-19, and the recent conflict in Afghanistan.

ActionAid is providing cash support and hygiene kits for women and girls to families like Sara’s in Firozkoh.

Fazul Rahman/ActionAid

About ActionAid

ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty.

Our dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. We are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want.

We operate in rural and urban communities across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

We're committed to ending the cycle of violence in communities around the world, enabling women's economic empowerment, and supporting women's and girls' rights during humanitarian crises.

Where your money goes

90% of your donation will go directly to the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal.

10% of your donation will be retained for ActionAid’s Emergency Action Fund which will only be used for ensuring we are prepared and able to respond quickly and more effectively to future emergencies and crises.

If the total amount raised for this appeal exceeds the funds needed for the response, ActionAid will transfer the remaining balance to the Emergency Action Fund. All Gift Aid claimed on donations will fund ActionAid’s work across the world, wherever the need is greatest.

Top photo: Habib* is screened for malnutrition at a health clinic supported by DEC charity International Rescue Committee in Afghanistan. Photo: Kellie Ryan/International Rescue Committee UK. *Name changed.

Page updated 19 January 2022