1. Home
  2. Asia
  3. Afghanistan

Devastating floods add to Afghanistan's climate woes

Flooding in Afghanistan’s northern Baghlan province has led to at least 300 deaths and the destruction of thousands of homes since it began on 10 May. Save the Children reports that an estimated 600,000 people, including about 300,000 children, live across the five most affected districts of the province and that an estimated 40,000 children have lost their homes. 

The floods are only the latest example of the destructive manifestations of climate change in Afghanistan, according to Samira Sayed-Rahman, the Kabul-based advocacy and policy advisor for Save the Children. “Afghanistan is being hit by shock after shock. These devastating floods highlight, yet again, Afghanistan’s vulnerability to the impacts of the climate crisis and its limited capacity to respond effectively,” Sayed-Rahman told The New Humanitarian. 

Damage to roads and bridges in Baghlan province is making it difficult for aid agencies to reach affected people, according to government and NGO sources. The number of casualties and the level of destruction are much higher than initially thought, Abdul Ghani Baradar, acting deputy prime minister for economic affairs for the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate government, said after visiting the flood-affected areas on 13 May. 

A series of floods in March also left widespread damage in their wake in southern Afghanistan, and several high-magnitude earthquakes rocked western Herat province last year. Recovery from these disasters and efforts to build climate resilience have been stymied by a lack of financial resources. 

“Urgent funding is needed not just to address the immediate aftermath of disasters, but to be able to implement sustainable, community-driven solutions to build resilience and mitigate the ongoing effects of climate change,” said Sayed-Rahman.

For more on the delicate balancing act between Western reluctance to engage with the Taliban government and the need to do more to address one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, read our recent story: US signals greater willingness to engage with the Taliban.

Share this article

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.