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Flood waters surging past a makeshift camp in Afghanistan as floods continue to devastate communities across the country.
Crisis Watch

Deadly floods ravage drought-ridden Afghanistan

Photo: Haseeb Khalid/IRC

After a year of severe drought, flash floods have killed at least 77 people and destroyed thousands of homes in Afghanistan.

More than 42,000 people have been displaced by the floods since the start of 2019. In all, 163,000 people in 16 provinces need urgent help.

Sadar Mohammad with one of his sons

Sadar Mohammad's family is among those receiving emergency cash from the IRC after being affected by massive flooding.

Photo: IRC

In Herat, Helmand and Badghis provinces, for example, heavy rainfall triggered flash floods in March and early April, spoiling vast swatches of agricultural land. Some affected areas remain inaccessible due to roadblocks or deteriorating security conditions, preventing humanitarian agencies from providing assistance.

Sometimes we go to villages and discover that everyone has lost everything.

“Sometimes we go to villages and discover that everyone has lost everything,” says Fazl Rabi, the International Rescue Committee’s field coordinator in Herat. In the village of Shadi Bara, in Injil district, 185 of 190 families saw their homes destroyed.

An IRC staff  member walks through the flood hit village of Shadi Bara, Herat, Afghanistan

An IRC aid worker visits Shadi Bara, Herat, to assess residents' needs in the wake of flooding on April 4-5. All but five of the village's 190 families lost their homes in the deluge.

Photo: Jalil Mohammadi/IRC

In one town in Helmand, 200 of 300 families were severely affected by the flooding. Sadar Mohammad, breadwinner for his family of five, is among those receiving emergency cash from the IRC. The IRC is also providing shelter, clean water and sanitation services to more than 4,000 people in the three provinces. 

“We provide tents, cash, hygiene kits—but, unfortunately, we can only assist some of those affected and hope that more funding can come to help the rest,” says Rabi.

The IRC is providing shelter, clean water and sanitation services to more than 4,000 people in three flood-affected provinces. 

Photo: Ahmad Karimi /IRC

The IRC continues to assess the needs across the country. Additional resources are urgently needed to support thousands of households during the coming months, which are expected to bring more devastating rain. Families living in camps are particularly vulnerable. 

Learn more about the IRC’s work in Afghanistan.