Afghanistan map
UNICEF photo: headshot of Atifa, 11 © UNICEF Afghanistan/2015/AEP Atifa, 11, received UNICEF-supported psychosocial support following a stampede at her school in the aftermath of the October earthquake in Takhar province.


In 2016, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children aged 6 to 23 months in affected areas received multiple micronutrient supplementation


people provided with sufficient quantity of water of appropriate quality for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene


children received psychosocial support in child-friendly spaces

2016 Requirements: US$27,840,000

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Total affected population: 8.1 million
Total affected children: 4.6 million

Total people to be reached in 2016: 1.8 million
Total children to be reached in 2016: 944,000

At least 197,000 people were displaced in Afghanistan between the beginning of 2015 and September 2015. These displacements were due to the ongoing armed conflict, including in the relatively secure northern region, as well as natural hazards, such as flooding, avalanche and earthquake. The number of displaced people is expected to increase once assessments are completed in other contested and remote areas. The conflict has seriously disrupted the provision of basic health services: at least 29 health facilities have closed in Helmand, Nangarhar, Paktia and Uruzgan provinces.1 Many children continue to live in areas that are not under government control and as a result, lack access to basic health services, such as routine immunization against measles and other preventable diseases. According to the Afghanistan 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan, 1.4 million people2 will be in need of basic health care in 2016. Increased conflict, criminal activity and general insecurity are also impacting education, with school closures reported in eastern and northern regions. Children continue to be the victims of grave violations by parties to the conflict, including killing and maiming and recruitment into armed groups. Treatment coverage for chronic malnutrition (stunting) is only 30 per cent. An estimated 3.5 million of the 8.1 million total affected people,3 including 127,000 refugees or returnees, require access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

Humanitarian strategy

2016 Programme Targets


  • 97,000 children aged 0 to 59 months affected by SAM admitted for treatment
  • 333,000 children aged 6 to 23 months in affected areas received multiple micronutrient supplementation
  • 369,300 women with children aged 0 to 23 months received infant and young child feeding counselling or promotion messages


  • 224,000 children aged 9 months to 10 years received measles vaccination
  • 224,000 pregnant women and children under 5 years benefitted from standby capacity for coping with a humanitarian crisis
  • 50,000 affected people received health education and key messages


  • 200,000 people provided with sufficient quantity of water of appropriate quality for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 100,000 people supported with appropriate sanitation facilities and living in an environment free of open defecation

Child protection

  • 8,900 children received case management services
  • 15,000 children received psychosocial support in child-friendly spaces


  • 40,000 school-aged children, including adolescents, accessed formal and informal education
  • 40,000 school-aged children, including adolescents, accessed education programmes with psychosocial support

In the area of nutrition, UNICEF is prioritizing refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and disaster-affected populations in 22 priority provinces. The Public Nutrition Department will receive support to finalize the supply chain management standard operating procedures and increase access to nutrition services through the Basic Package of Health Services framework. UNICEF will advocate for increased funding, as well as the recruitment of additional female humanitarian workers, in response to the unprecedented increase in child protection issues. In the area of WASH, sub-national coordination mechanisms will be strengthened in high-vulnerability provinces through the elaboration of WASH contingency plans. In health, UNICEF will target the most vulnerable women and children and respond to acute health emergencies where assessments indicate humanitarian assistance is the last option for the provision of treatment and a critical determinant for survival. The Education in Emergencies Working Group will receive support to ensure children’s uninterrupted access to learning. In 2016, UNICEF preparedness efforts will focus on partner capacity mapping of pre-positioned items, contingency planning and the identification of best practices.

Results from 2015

As of 31 October 2015, UNICEF had received 29 per cent (US$15 million) of the US$50.9 million 2015 appeal, in addition to US$7.3 million carried forward from 2014. Overall in 2015, UNICEF reached 1.69 million out of the 2.62 million targeted beneficiaries. Treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) reached 78 per cent of the planned target. A nutrition cluster advocacy strategy was developed with partners and will be rolled out in 2016. As part of preparedness measures, UNICEF pre-positioned stocks of materials (including non-food items) for the WASH, health, nutrition, child protection and education sectors to meet the immediate needs of 31,560 families affected by conflict and natural hazards. Due to inadequate funding, UNICEF achieved only 41 per cent of the total planned child protection target. In response to the avalanches and mudslides in Badakhshan, the WASH programme responded with water trucking, distribution of jerry cans and hygiene kits and the rehabilitation and provision of boreholes with hand pumps. Due to funding constraints, however, the response was limited. In education, teaching and learning materials, non-formal education and psychosocial support were extended to displaced children and Pakistani refugee children.

Funding requirements

In line with the inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan for Afghanistan, UNICEF is appealing for US$27.8 million to meet the growing humanitarian needs of 1.8 million people in Afghanistan, of which 944,000 are children. These funds are critical to help UNICEF effectively support the national response to Afghanistan’s continuing nutritional crisis and vital WASH services and to provide affected populations with basic health services and emergency education.

1 Afghanistan 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan.
2 Afghanistan 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan.
3 Based on 2015 estimates from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).