Media release

UK for UNHCR launches urgent Afghanistan appeal

© UNHCR/Edris Lutfi

17 August 2021. As the situation in Afghanistan worsens, UK for UNHCR has launched an urgent appeal for funds so that the UN Refugee Agency can continue delivering support for displaced people across the country.

This year more than 550,000 civilians have been forced to flee their homes, including 390,000 people who have fled since May alone. Figures show that women and children make up around 80 per cent of those fleeing.  

The UN Refugee Agency has been working in Afghanistan for many years and will continue to help fleeing Afghans wherever it is safe to do so. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has stressed: “…as long and wherever it is possible to stay and help Afghan women and men in their time of greatest need, that should be the priority.” 

UNHCR teams and partners in Afghanistan are providing emergency shelter materials (such as tarpaulins), food, water and sanitary supplies, and assessing the needs of newly displaced people as the situation continues to evolve.  

However, with increasing numbers of people needing help and stocks of humanitarian supplies running low, UNHCR teams in Afghanistan urgently need support.  

Emma Cherniavsky, Chief Executive of UK for UNHCR, said: “As we witness the heartbreaking and harrowing scenes in Kabul and across Afghanistan, we are deeply concerned that more and more people will be displaced in the coming days. UNHCR is on the ground delivering essential aid, but more support is needed urgently.”  

People can donate and find out more at  

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For media interviews or further information please contact Sara Guy, [email protected], 0208 183 0121.


Read the latest briefing note from UNHCR here: 

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Khaled Hosseini has called for support, you can watch his video appeal here:  

An update from Fahim Hamdard, Assistant Field Officer, UNHCR Afghanistan is available to view:  

About UK for UNHCR 

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK, building solidarity and raising funds to protect refugees worldwide through UNHCR’s work.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Thanks to voluntary contributions from our UK supporters and partnerships, UNHCR teams can deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415). Learn more at

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