Afghanistan is affected by insecurity, infrastructure decay, and economic stagnation caused by decades of conflict, recurring natural hazards, and protracted and multiple displacement.?

In recent years, conflict between Afghan National Security Forces, the Taliban, and the Islamic State Khorasan Province has intensified. Violent attacks and armed clashes have severely impacted civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and roads. Following the Taliban’s announcement of its annual ‘spring offensive’ – in which fighting increases as the winter months come to an end – the conflict has been particularly active and remains the main driver of displacement in the country. 344,000 people were displaced in 2020 because of conflict and insecurity. The Taliban and the US signed a peace deal on 29 February 2020, paving the way for intra-Afghan talks, which began on 12 September 2020 and which saw representatives from the Afghan government and the Taliban come together for the first official talks in over 19 years.?

Afghanistan is also prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes, droughts, and floods. In 2020, 104,000 people were affected and 200 were killed by natural disasters, marking a significant decrease from the 306,000 people affected in 2019.?

Since 2012, 4.8 million people have remained internally displaced outside their areas of origin because of conflict and natural disasters. The largest IDP hosting areas are in the north, north-east, and eastern provinces, where conflict is active. More than half of IDPs live in provincial capitals, where public services are strained and struggling to cope.?

A high number of returnees, primarily from Iran and Pakistan, require additional support from local and international organisations. 2020 marked the highest rate of return for undocumented Afghan migrants (856,793 compared to 805,000 in 2018), mainly because of loss of work and wages, movement restrictions connected to COVID-19, and lack of access to medical services in host countries. The provinces with the highest number of returnees are Kandahar, Nangarhar, Herat, and Takhar.?

INFORM indicates that Afghanistan’s risk of humanitarian crisis is very high, with a score of 8.1/10. This is because of the country’s high hazard exposure and vulnerability.?


Latest Developments

Civilian casualties reported between January–June 2021 increased by 47% compared to the first half of 2020, reversing the decreasing trend in civilian casualties reported in the last four years. Over 1,650 civilians were killed and 3,520 injured in the first half of 2021. The increase in casualties among women and girls was particularly concerning, as the number almost doubled compared to the first half of 2020. Violence in Afghanistan is escalating, with many districts falling under Taliban’s control in the past two months. Up to 330,000 people have been newly internally displaced since January 2021, primarily as a result of the escalating conflict. The most urgent needs reported by the IDPs are shelter, food, water, and health assistance. Humanitarian needs have been aggravated by the impact of COVID-19, drought, increasing poverty, and escalating conflict worsened by the rapid withdrawal of international troops and stalled progress in intra-Afghan peace talks. ?

The ACAPS team is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to the outbreak, see the ACAPS COVID-19 Project.

Key Figures

Total population
People affected
People displaced
People in Need
Key figures are for the entire response and are not CCCM-specific.

INFORM Global Crisis Severity Index

Crisis Severity: 4.6

Impact: 5

Humanitarian Conditions: 4.5

Complexity: 4.3

Access Constraints: 4

The above scale is from 0 (Very low) to 5 (Very high)
Information courtesy of ACAPS.
HDX datasets

15 Common Operating Datasets or CCCM-tagged datsets are on the Humanitarian Data Exchange: