In regions Afghanistan and Asia and in groups Afghanistan and Asia



2021-12 Factsheet - Afghanistan

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Location: Maidan Wardak Photo Credit: Farhad Faizi/DMP/UNHCR


Afghanistan is descending into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Amidst the backdrop of an already dire situation following 40 years of war, economic decline, price increases, and rising poverty. In 2021 the people of Afghanistan faced intensified conflict, the worst drought in 27 years, the withdrawal of international forces and then the leadership transition in August 2021.

The recent leadership transitions in the country and unfolding implications on basic services, financial systems and markets has led to a further deterioration of the situation for vulnerable people. While the full impact of recent events will take more time to manifest, aid organizations have already witnessed a dangerous deepening of humanitarian need amongst a greater number of people.



Coverage against targets

Need analysis

Following the record displacement of nearly 700,000 people in 2021, some 9.2 million IDPs and returnees (as per IOM-led DTM Report) remain in some form of displacement and in need of support to return where possible. Due to their uprooting and significant displacement to urban areas, recent IDPs tend to reside in poorly constructed shelter and face disproportionate shelter.

Recent assessments indicate that 53% of IDP households reported shelter as one of the top three priority needs. 85 per cent of IDP households reported at least one of these shelter issues; leaks during heavy rain, lack of insulation, needing shelter repairs and upgrades

Non-Food Items: 44 per cent of people reported to be in need of essential household items. With reduction in conflict the needs for NFI will reduce and this indicator is expected to improve going into 2022

Shelter repairs/Upgrade: The conflict has taken a severe toll in terms of damage to shelters - 71% of households reported living in a significantly or partially damaged or fully destroyed shelter. Considering the high cost of shelter repairs, and the already negative net income of households, reconstruction comes at a high cost that may not be affordable for most. Most Afghan household have to make choices between meeting basic needs and repairing their shelters and are unable to sustain any major shock that severely damaged or destroyed their shelter.

Winterization: Each year, freezing winter temperatures, especially in high altitude locations drive the need for provision of life saving winter assistance for the majority of affected persons whose shelters do not protect against the cold and who do not have the financial capability to purchase fuel and heaters to supplement their heating requirements. The lack of warm clothing, insulation, heating heightens the risk of respiratory infections, hypothermia and preventable mortality among children and the elderly are prevalent in these areas.

The Whole of Afghanistan Assessment (WoAA) 2021 findings show that more than 19% of IDPs use waste (paper, plastic, carton board, etc.) and 50% use wood and bushes as their primary source of energy for heating. Economic decline, price increases, and rising poverty means this need will remain high and the trend of Households requiring assistance to cope with the winter season is expected to get worse.


Out of the overall target of 1 Million people, 28 Cluster partners that responded in 2021 assisted 1,074,306 people with shelter, NFI and winterization support. From the total number of people reached:

1. 61,291 people were provided with emergency shelter assistance including rental support,

2. 526,614 people received basic household items (standard NFI packages) and

3. 39,491 people received support to reconstruct or repair their homes.

4. 512,060 vulnerable individuals received heating/ fuel, blankets, and clothes to mitigate protection, health and other risks associated with harsh winter conditions.

5. 15,231 people received support to construct transitional and durable shelter 

Gaps / challenges

1. Limited funding for shelter responses: less than 5% of the overall reach individuals with shelter upgrades and transitional shelter mainly due to limited funding. Failure to address these needs would keep hundreds of vulnerable households in inadequate and often overcrowded shelters, with severe implications for their health, protection, socio-economic situation and personal security - especially for children, the elderly, disabled people, women and girls. These households also continue to require annual winterization support.

2. Increase in the cost of items, market prices for NFIs, warehouse rents and transportation costs

3. Cash and liquidity: Partners report that the implementation of cash assistance is hindered due to the issues faced by the banking sector which in turn has resulted in cash and liquidity challenges.