The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported that 30 humanitarian aid workers were killed in Afghanistan in the past two years.
In a video for World Humanitarian Day, Daniel Endres, OCHA’s coordinator for Afghanistan, highlighted that numerous slain aid workers were involved in polio vaccination and demining efforts.
Last year, aid workers helped vulnerable communities and families in all 401 districts of the country, reaching over 26 million people despite challenging conditions.
“This year, they have continued in their effort, reaching more than 23.6 million people, including 12 million women and girls, with at least one form of assistance.” He added.
“Yet, funding is drying up, threatening the lives and well-being of millions of people. We cannot allow this to happen. People worldwide are depending on humanitarians to step up when others cannot or are unwilling, no matter who they are, no matter where they are, no matter what,” Endres said.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator emphasized the crucial role of women aid workers as lifelines for at-risk women and girls, despite Taliban restrictions. However, a funding shortfall is rapidly forcing the closure of essential UN programs.
“The number of people targeted for food assistance has been slashed from 13 million at the beginning of the year to nine million in March and 5 million in May. Additionally, more than 260 static and mobile health facilities have had to discontinue their services, limiting access to primary health care for 2 million people,” according to the UN.
The statement cautions that additional activities will be impacted, and if inadequate funding persists, more disruptions and program closures are inevitable.
This year, OCHA reports that a shocking 29.2 million people, which account for over two-thirds of the people, urgently need humanitarian aid to survive, marking a staggering 480% rise in just five years.