Emergency Food Assistance For Afghan Returnees

Heightened political tensions and violence in Pakistan have forced tens of thousands of Afghan refugees back across the border, where Relief International has worked to alleviate food and water shortages.

With support from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), RI rushed immediate food assistance to the returning Afghan families in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces. 

Pushed by a deadline from the Pakistan government, more than 130,000 undocumented Afghans returned to Afghanistan over a six-week period in late 2016. Given just 48 hours notice, many of these returnees sold their possessions at low prices and paid hefty transportation costs to reach eastern Afghanistan, leaving them destitute when they arrived. 

RI provided immediate cash assistance to 1,100 of the most vulnerable returning families. The funds sustained these families — totaling more than 7,500 individuals — during the first two months of the emergency, when food and other needs are greatest. 

With the return of an additional 18,000 Afghans in early 2017, OCHA estimates that 500,000 people in Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman provinces — 20 percent of the population — are displaced persons. 

These communities face dire shortages of drinking water and food, and a high risk of disease. The health and humanitarian services offered by Relief International are in constant demand.

RI has been delivering emergency assistance to internally displaced persons in the most vulnerable communities in Afghanistan since 2002.