The European Commission has allocated an additional €20 million (about $23 million) in emergency aid to Afghanistan as the humanitarian situation has worsened since the beginning of 2018, due in part a severe drought affecting large parts of the country.
This brings total EU humanitarian aid for Afghanistan to €47 million in 2018.
“The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan shows little sign of improvement. Conflict has intensified since the beginning of the year and a severe drought is taking hold,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
“The most vulnerable communities are hardest hit so the EU is stepping up support to help those most in need. Our new aid package aims to reach 400,000 people in need of assistance,” said Stylianides.
The EU humanitarian assistance announced on Friday it will support communities affected by the drought, civilian war casualties, and displaced populations.
The EU said in a statement that humanitarian organisations will address the most pressing needs on the ground, ranging from emergency shelter to food assistance, water and sanitation, protection, and health care.
Part of the assistance will be channelled through the EU funded Emergency Response Mechanism, which ensures emergency assistance to vulnerable displaced communities, the statement said.
Several years of low rainfall, combined with low levels of snow-fall last winter, have led to a drought in 20 provinces, where nearly 15 million people rely on agriculture, the EU said in the statement. In some of the hardest-hit districts of the country's western region, agriculture and livestock production is 50 to 60 percent lower than in 2017.
An estimated two million people are affected by the drought, with 1.4 million in immediate need of food assistance.
Chronic underdevelopment and ongoing violence compounds the effects of the drought, which is depleting household assets and significantly increasing displacement within the country.