IOM Responds to Massive Floods in Afghanistan

Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons, Migration and Environment

Afghanistan - Massive flash floods have claimed over 50 lives and left thousands homeless in northern, northeastern, western and central and central highland regions of Afghanistan. IOM is among the first responders and has mobilized urgently-needed relief assistance that will soon reach the affected families.                                                                                                     

Heavy rainfalls in recent weeks have caused widespread flooding and landslides throughout Afghanistan’s Ghor, Badghis, Herat, Faryab, Balkh, Samangan, Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan, Bamiyan, Daikundi, Logar, Ghazni, Paktiya, Parwan, Panjshir, Nuristan, Laghamn, Kunnar, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces.

Recent flash floods have swept through these provinces, washing away homes, farmlands and destroying pastures. Main connecting roads have also been damaged, making access to some of these areas extremely difficult.

Speaking at an emergency coordination meeting, IOM’s Chief of Mission Laurence Hart said: “These floods are the worst that Afghanistan’s many provinces across the country have experienced in over a decade. Affected families are in urgent need of relief supplies, shelter, food, drinking water and basic health services.”

Working in close coordination with the Afghan National Disaster Management Agency (ANDMA), the Provincial Governor Offices and UN/NGO partners, IOM assessment teams were deployed to the affected areas on 16 and 17 of April. The teams have met with communities to determine the full extent of the damages and the needs of the families who lost their homes and livelihoods.

“Many families and households have been affected by these floods, but the joint and rapid assessments in coordination with relevant Afghan authorities and humanitarian partners have made it possible to quickly reach those remote areas and provide vulnerable people with most needed first assistance,” said Hart.

The initial assessments found that 3,229 families have been affected by the floods, while 2,126 homes have been severely damaged and 404 houses have been completely destroyed. This number is expected to rise as assessment teams reach other affected communities. Reports also suggest that these floods have so far claimed 51 lives and left 11 injured as well as two persons missing. Many families who lost their homes have been displaced to surrounding villages.

IOM has prepositioned sufficient stocks of relief supplies and emergency shelter kits in regional hubs in Afghanistan to cover the needs of affected families. These relief supplies include basic household items, blankets, cooking sets, plastic sheeting and other goods that will help ease the burden of displacement. Additional supplies can be dispatched from IOM’s network of warehouses throughout the country.

IOM’s humanitarian assistance activities in Afghanistan are funded by the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

For further information, please contact Laurence Hart at IOM Afghanistan. Email:, Tel: +93 794 100 525

Flash floods have swept away homes and crops in large areas of Afghanistan. Photo: IOM 2016.