The worsening drought threatens to reverse many years of development progress in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s devastating drought is a humanitarian crisis with serious security consequences, especially because it is threatening the fragile government’s chances of long-term economic stability. In a disaster of this magnitude, government security forces are expected to implement emergency disaster management policies to protect civilians and encourage public support. They are not.

There are few humanitarian and recovery organizations that serve rural Afghan communities. Those that exist are often restricted to their own regions, while most international NGOs are focusing on urban areas that may not be directly affected by the drought. As this report documents, Afghanistan’s government does not regulate NGOs or the activities they perform, leaving them largely independent and highly vulnerable to resource depletion and financial limitations. Afghan NGOs are poorly supported and therefore lack the capabilities and financial resources to help the communities most in need.

International donor governments, local governments, and civil society groups must recognize the needs of Afghan farmers, herders, urban laborers, and urban youth with a focus on their resilience to future shocks. Assistance to affected communities will require flexible and time-sensitive financing solutions to address immediate needs and a stronger ability of donors to address lasting problems and prevent long-term, structural crisis.

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