Second Anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan – Bond statement

Today, Tuesday 15 August, is the second anniversary of when the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan following the US and NATO’s withdrawal of military forces from the country.

Now two years following the takeover, more than 80% of the Afghan population now lives below the poverty line as the economy continues to contract, jobs vanish, and government services crumble.

Reflecting on the second anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Gideon Rabinowitz, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Bond, said: 

For the past two years, the Afghan people have been living in a waking nightmare. Families have been plunged into poverty, malnutrition threatens over a million children as food insecurity engulfs the country, and the dreams of millions of women and girls have been shattered as they endure tight restrictions on their freedoms.  The UK and the international community must not abandon Afghanistan. Our support cannot end because troops left. We urge the UK government to stay engaged via civil groups on the ground and diplomatic pragmatism while maintaining its commitments to promised UK aid funding and refugee resettlement.


Notes for editors

  1. According to the UN, malnutrition threatens over 1 million Afghan children as food insecurity engulfs the country. 
  1. UK aid to Afghanistan has been significantly reduced, as 13% of assistance was cut from 2021-22 to 2022-23 according to the FCDO’s Annual Report & Accounts for 2022-23. 
  1. In May 2023, The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) released a new review on the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan since the Taliban take over in 2021 noting that UK funding has continuously fallen sharply following successive UK aid budget reductions: £100 million in humanitarian assistance has been budgeted for Afghanistan in 2023-24, compared with £246 million for 2022-23.
  1. In March 2022, Bond member Save the Children UK announced the closure of their programme providing education and nutritional support to women and girls in Afghanistan as a result of government cuts to UK aid.  
  1. Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of nearly 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice. 
  1. For further information or interviews please contact Jess Salter at [email protected] or call 07392972411.