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The August 15 power shift in Afghanistan has resulted in severe economic instability in a climate of heightened uncertainty. The country is also experiencing fragility and faces challenges on multiple fronts including COVID-19, poverty, food insecurity, droughts and micro- and macroeconomic impacts. Around 18.5 million of Afghan people need assistance with 3.5 million people displaced. Over 665,000 people were reported by OCHA to have fled their homes due to conflict as of 3 October 2021.

The economy is facing multiple shocks including the sudden drop in aid combined with frozen assets abroad, cash shortages, a weakening banking sector, falling trade, accelerating inflation and a depreciating exchange rate. According to the IMF forecast of October 2021, the economy is projected to contract by 30%. UNDP’s projections show that poverty may become nearly universal affecting 95-97 % of the population by mid-2022.

Core government functions and the provision of essential services have completely collapsed except for some international assistance that is being provided to maintain access to health services. As humanitarian needs mount, it is imperative to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and the socio-economic collapse of the country, which would result in increased instability, severe security threats and migratory flows in Afghanistan, the region and beyond.

In this context, UNDP has developed an Area-based Approach for Development Emergency Initiatives Strategy, referred to ABADEI Strategy, to support basic human needs that will enable people and communities to withstand these shocks. The interventions proposed under the ABADEI Strategy, undertaken alongside the humanitarian response, aim to mitigate, and hopefully avert, the immediate impact of the crisis on lives and livelihoods.