EXTENT AND SCALE OF HUMANITARIAN NEED IN
AFGHANISTAN, October 2001
(largely from secondary sources as we are
not allowed to contact our staff inside Afghanistan)
The United Nations estimates that
a total of 7.5 million Afghans are at risk and in need of humanitarian
assistance. To meet this need requires deliveries of 50,000 MT
of food per month. Over the last month, the maximum estimate of
deliveries by all agencies combined did not exceed 10,000 MT.
In terms of absolute numbers, the
greatest concentrations by region are in: North (Mazar)2
million; Central (Kabul)1.5 million; West (Herat)1.2
million; South (1 million); and Hazarajat (0.86 million). The
East (0.6 million) and Northeast (0.35 million) have smaller affected
The World Food Programme estimates
that more than 3 million of those affected are in urgent need
of food aid, with 600,000 in immediate risk of starvation. Of
these, nearly two-thirds are in the north. Those provinces with
the highest percentage of population in acute need include Faryab,
Jawzjan, Balkh, Badghis, Ghor, and Samangan. In addition to this
cluster in north/central Afghanistan, Badakshan province in the
northeast of the country also has a high percentage in acute need.
The World Food Programme has also
identified priority areas for the pre-positioning of food before
winter. Included is a large swath through the center of the country
to the west of the capital, Kabul. This area includes portions
of the provinces of Badghis, Ghor, Faryab, Bamiyan, Uruzgan. Wardak
and Parwan. Other critical areas for pre-positioning include portions
of Badakshan, Takhar, Baghlan, and Kapisa in the northeast, as
well as Paktika in the southeast.
To summarise, the greatest humanitarian need
in Afghanistan can presently be described as situated in a wide
belt across the northern half of the country, stretching from
Badghis in the West to Badakshan in the far northeast. Included
in this belt would be the relatively large affected populations
in the central areas of Hazarajat and Kabul and its environs.
This doesn't mean that other portions of the country do not urgently
require humanitarian assistance, but the areas identified above
should be given priority by the international humanitarian community.
CARE will not only intervene in those areas
of greatest need, but will also take into account the on-going
efforts and capacity of other humanitarian organizations, as well
as our commitments to those parts of the country in which we have
traditionally worked and have established relationships with communities
and partner organizations.