2015 was a year marked politically by the 2014 presidential elections in Afghanistan, and subsequent drawn out processes that led to the formation of the national unity Government in September 2014. It was the year in which Afghan security forces took full responsibility for the security and protection of the population. It was marked by the fall and capture of the city of Kunduz by the Taliban on 28 September, the subsequent devastating air strike on the MSF hospital, and a month later by a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake on 26 October.
The humanitarian situation was defined by the increase in the geographical spread and intensity of the conflict; characterized by more land based attacks, and a year in which 23 district administrative centres were taken over at one time or another by insurgents (compared to 4 in 2014). Largely as a result of this, the number of civilian casualties in 2015 reached a record 11,002 (3,545 civilian deaths and 7,457 people wounded, with children paying a particularly heavy toll). Humanitarian activities continued to be defined by response to acute needs arising from the conflict, particularly provision of emergency assistance to the wounded and to the internally displaced, as well as responding to the families affected by numerous natural disasters.
In 2015 humanitarian assistance was delivered through provision of immediate life-saving care to the war wounded; emergency survival supplies of food, water and shelter to the hundreds of thousands of people who fled their homes in fear for their lives and safety (over 100,000 people fled from Kunduz), to supplementing the provision of healthcare to an estimated 36% of the population unable to access public health services and responding to a range of natural disasters, particularly the October earthquake, which left 130,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance.
As the year drew on, a war being waged by an increasingly beleaguered Afghan army and police force, gave way to a worrying trend in the erosion of respect of international humanitarian law, a set of rules that seek to limit the effects of conflict on the civilian population. 2015 saw a 47% year on year increase in the number of conflict-related incidents where hospitals, clinics and health personnel had been deliberately targeted.
Key planning figures for 2015
$417m US$ required for Jan-Dec 2015
3.8m people prioritized for assistance
$259m US$ received as of Dec 2015
3.6m beneficiaries assisted
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.