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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article31 March 2022Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)2 min read

Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan: EU releases €113 million in humanitarian support

children in school
© European Union, 2020 (photographer: Mallika Panorat)

During the Afghanistan Pledging Conference today, the Commission will announce €113 million in EU humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people, addressing the urgent needs in Afghanistan and the region. This includes €18 million allocated in Iran and Pakistan this year.

“Afghanistan continues to face one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Following the cold winter season, millions of women, men and children are struggling in the face of acute hunger. I wish to thank the governments of Germany, Qatar, the United Kingdom, as well as the UN, for joining forces to organise this timely conference. The EU stands in full solidarity and will continue its support to vulnerable Afghan refugees and host communities in Iran and Pakistan”, said Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.

EU humanitarian support focuses on specialised medical care, supply of food and nutrition, shelter, as well as the protection of civilians and education projects for the Afghan people and Afghans displaced to neighbouring countries.

Out of this, €2 million is dedicated to a series of EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights. By June 2022, these flights will have provided 490 metric tonnes of lifesaving medical cargo, surgical equipment and nutritional support to Afghanistan.

The EU will also provide €11 million in assistance in Iran where aid projects focus on health and protection of the most vulnerable. €7 million will be provided in Pakistan to address the most pressing needs in the country.

The EU's assistance is always channelled through international aid organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and UN agencies.


Following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, over 24.4 million people are in immediate need of assistance to survive and there is a tangible risk that parts of the population will fall into starvation. Afghanistan is considered as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, characterised by political insecurity, severe medical and food shortages, displacement, restricted access to education for girls and women and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The EU continues to provide life-saving assistance to Afghans inside the country and in the region in close co-operation with its trusted humanitarian partners. Iran and Pakistan are hosting high numbers of Afghan refugees, with an increase in Afghans seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. The EU also provides assistance to the most vulnerable people among the local population in these countries. 

The EU has funded humanitarian operations in Afghanistan since 1994, providing close to €1.3 billion. In Iran, the EU has provided more than €111 million worth in humanitarian aid since 2016. In Pakistan, the EU has provided close to €104 million in humanitarian aid since 2016. Funds are allocated strictly based on the humanitarian principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality to ensure access to those in need.

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