Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence



(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 populations.

    —  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.

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