UNHCR airlifting aid to Kabul

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The situation in Afghanistan remains uncertain and volatile, with events such as the deadly attack on the Kabul military hospital on the 2nd November, but UNCHR is continuing with its urgent delivery of aid.

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©UNHCR/Babar Baloch

Planes carrying winter relief from the UNHCR’s global stockpiles in Dubai have landed in Kabul, Afghanistan.  

The first UNHCR-chartered plane took off from Sharjah, arriving in Kabul carrying 33 tons of winterisation kits for displaced Afghans.

Humanitarian needs are rising rapidly in Afghanistan ahead of winter, when temperatures can dip to -25⁰C. Many displaced families lack proper shelter while some of those who have recently returned to their places of origin have found their homes unfit for the cold season.  

Each winterisation kit contains flooring, partitions, and other items to improve tent insulation against the cold. The kits also provide heat resistant protection to enable the installation of a stove.  

Afghanistan. UNHCR begins airlifting aid to Kabul

UNHCR’s first planeload of aid landed in the Afghan capital Kabul on 2 October carrying 33 tons of humanitarian assistance for displaced Afghans. Photo: UNHCR / Babar Baloch

Afghanistan. Displaced Afghans receive assistance from UNHCR as winter looms

Displaced Afghan women receive assistance from UNHCR in Paghman district outside the capital, Kabul. Photo: UNHCR / Babar Baloch

Conflict and insecurity have displaced 3.5 million Afghans inside the country, including some 700,000 forced from their homes so far this year. UNHCR is rushing to provide winter assistance to some 500,000 displaced Afghans, returnees and local host communities by the end of 2021.  

UNHCR continues to distribute other much needed humanitarian assistance to displaced Afghans. Nearly half a million have received assistance so far this year, including emergency shelter kits, food rations, blankets, kitchen sets, stoves, solar panels, solar lanterns, and cash for the most vulnerable.  

UNHCR is using land, sea and air routes to bring humanitarian relief into Afghanistan and other countries in the region so we can respond to the increasing needs. Further relief supplies have also been prepositioned in Termez, Uzbekistan, ready to be trucked into Afghanistan as needed.  

As we continue to scale up our humanitarian response, more resources are urgently needed to reach all those who will need help to survive the harsh winter ahead.  

We urgently need to increase financial contributions to assist displaced Afghans, both within and outside the country, who remain extremely vulnerable.  

In addition to emergency relief for the internally displaced, UNHCR also continues to work in communities where former refugees have returned, by investing in infrastructure including education, health, livelihoods and shelter. 


Your support matters. To support relief efforts this winter, please donate today.  

For more information about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, please visit our Afghanistan country page.  

You can read more from UNHCR’s spokesperson Shabia Mantoo here.  

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