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Afghanistan Earthquake

Life is dire for children in Afghanistan, more than a year since the Taliban took control of the country. Children are facing extreme hunger, exploitation, no education, endless disease outbreaks and, for many children, death.

Crippling drought and the economic crisis are pushing Afghanistan to the brink of collapse, with food prices, unemployment and poverty skyrocketing. 18.9m children and adults are facing severe food shortages.

Children are going to bed hungry night after night, and girls are reporting this almost twice as much as boys.

Eight million girls and boys in Afghanistan need support to stay in school. Secondary school girls are banned from attending classes and many teacher’s salaries have not been paid for months. The economic crisis is also pushing children out of school, with many households unable to pay for transport, supplies, or the burqas and hijabs now required for girls.

They’re exhausted, wasting away, unable to play or study – not to mention, sad, worried and scared.

Our work in Afghanistan

Since September 2021, we've reached more than 3.3 million people with our life-saving services, including 1.8 million children.


  • Delivered primary, newborn and maternal health services, treated malnutrition and given mental health support
  • Provided community-based education to primary-aged boys and girls, as well as trained teachers and provided essential teaching and learning materials
  • Distributed cash and basic supplies like shelter materials, warm clothing, blankets and hygiene essentials
  • Screened and treated children and breastfeeding women suffering from malnutrition 
  • Provided safe spaces for children to play, learn and get support to recover, through community-based education classes. 

Laila's* chance to smile

Girls play outside after their class at Save the Children’s Child Friendly Space in a displacement camp in Balkh province, Afghanistan

Laila* and other children play outside after their class at Save the Children’s Child Friendly Space in a displacement camp in Balkh province, Afghanistan

Laila*, 12, was forced to flee her home after her father was killed. She now lives with her mother and four siblings in a camp where families have to dig their homes under the frozen ground to survive the bitter winter cold.

To support her family, Laila* had to work cleaning people’s houses, earning as little as 10 Afghanis – that’s less than 8p – a day.

But together, we could give Laila the chance of the future she deserves. She attended a safe space we created for children in the camp – the only place where she can just be a child; where she’s free to learn, smile and play.

Now she can start to look forward to a bright future. “I would like to be educated and become a teacher,” she says.

*Names changed

How is Save the Children helping Afghan refugees?

In the UK, we’re working closely with other children’s charities for Afghanistan - to provide holistic support for refugees.

We hope to offer cash vouchers, toys and learning packs to families staying in bridging hotels.

And we’ve developed training to help community workers better support Afghan asylum seekers and refugees.


How we helped Nava*

Nava in Afghanistan

Picture credit: Michal Przedlacki/ Save the Children

Nava*, 18 months, lives with her mother Taban*, 30, in a village in northern Afghanistan. Taban* was a teacher, but hasn’t had any work for the last six months. This has meant the family were struggling to afford basic necessities such as food.

Taban* and Nava* had been unwell. They visited a Save the Children health clinic where mother and daughter were both found to be malnourished.

Nava* and Taban were enrolled in an integrated management of acute malnutrition programme (IMAM).

This means both mother and baby received regular check-ups on their nutrition situation and were supplied with therapeutic food.

*Names changed

2022 Afghanistan earthquake

In 2022 Afghanistan was hit by its worst earthquake in two decades.

It reportedly killed over 1000 people, and injured at least 1,500.

Our team in Afghanistan will traveled to some of the worst-hit areas to assess the damage.

We transported emergency supplies - like blankets, children's clothes and tarpaulins - to children and families who need them. We're also provided cash assistance, which is so important in crises like this when families have lost everything.

Your support can help children and families devastated by disaster - like the earthquake in Afghanistan - to stay safe and healthy.

Please donate to our Emergency Fund

Our Emergency Fund lets us to respond to disasters like this around the world. Immediately. 

Help children around the world

In the UK and around the world, we make sure children keep safe, healthy and learning. By donating to Save the Children, you can help children get the food, healthcare and education they need.

Page last updated January 2023

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