Afghanistan + 2 more

Afghanistan: COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Response Operational Situation Report, 26 August 2020

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Situation Report
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This report is produced by OCHA Afghanistan in collaboration with humanitarian partners via clusters. It covers activities carried out between 17 and 23 August 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

• As of 26 August, 38,113 people in Afghanistan have tested positive for COVID-19; 1,401 have died and 29,042 have recovered.

• Since the start of March, partners have medically screened 495,042 people at points-of-entry, reached 84,818 children with home-based learning materials and provided 252,027 people with psychosocial support to cope with the mental health effects of COVID-19 across the country.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

MoPH data shows that as of 26 August, 38,113 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan have tested positive for COVID-19. Some 29,042 people have recovered, and 1,401 people have died (69 of whom are healthcare workers). 101,893 people out of the population of 37.6 million have been tested. Almost ten per cent of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases are among healthcare staff. The majority of the deaths were people between the ages of 50 and 79. Men in this age group represent 50 per cent of all COVID-19-related deaths. Moreover, men account for more than 70 per cent of the total COVID-19 confirmed cases, however this may be the result of testing bias. Kabul remains the most affected part of the country in terms of confirmed cases, followed by Hirat, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces.

Complacency and failure to follow public health advice is creating grave risks in the community with people generally not observing physical distancing protocols. Recent modelling on COVID-19 projections, developed by the Centre for Humanitarian Data in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and released on 12 August, suggests cases and deaths will continue to rise over the coming weeks. Modelling further suggests a significant increase in severe cases (potentially up to 4x the number) should current preventative measures be lifted, creating grave implications for Afghanistan’s economy and people’s well-being. The Government of Afghanistan’s nationwide lockdown measures remain in place. However according to reports, public health advice is not being followed and enforcement has been lenient. Measures to contain the spread of the virus continue to differ across provinces where local authorities decide on implementation of lockdown measures.

Humanitarians remain concerned about the impact of extended lockdown measures and movement constraints on the most-vulnerable, particularly people with disabilities and families who rely on casual daily labour and lack alternative income sources. According to WFP’s market monitoring, the average wheat flour price (low price and high price) increased by 9 per cent between 14 March and 26 August, while the cost of pulses, sugar, cooking oil and rice (low quality) increased by 26 per cent, 21 per cent, 30 per cent, and 18 per cent, respectively, over the same period. This price increase is accompanied by a declining purchasing power of casual labourers and pastoralists – which have deteriorated by 5 per cent and 7 per cent respectively (compared to 14 March).

The Cash and Voucher Working Group (CVWG) released analysis from the third round of data collection under the Afghanistan Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI). Data from the third round of the JMMI was collected between 14 and 26 July, in 29 provinces. According to the report, market access for all population groups has been impacted by the pandemic. Moreover, supply chains have been interrupted in a number of places across the country, with 7 per cent of key informants (KIs) interviewed reporting difficulties in obtaining enough commodities to meet demand in the last 30 days. The cost of a Minimum Expenditure Basket has decreased by three per cent, whereas the cost of food basket has decreased by six per cent, compared to the second JMMI round (8 and 21 June). The report finds increased number of shops, seasonality (i.e. post-harvest), and increase in demand are the main reasons for the decrease. For additional information, please see the latest JMMI Situation Overview.

While implementing activities that mitigate the spread of COVID-19, humanitarian partners continue to respond to other ongoing and emerging humanitarian needs. Humanitarians have been responding to new displacement as a result of conflict, as well as people affected by flooding in different parts of the country. During the reporting period, 18,342 women received antenatal and postnatal care through midwives deployed in Mobile Health Teams (MHTs). 1,563 people were treated for trauma care and 205 children under the age of 5 years received routine immunisation through MHTs. 2,402 children aged 6-59 months received treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 40,383 children aged 6-59 months received treatment for Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). 1,861 nutritionally at-risk children under the age of 5 years received blanket supplementary feeding. 18,041 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) received assistance through targeted supplementary feeding programmes (TSFP), while 2,099 nutritionally at-risk PLWs also received blanket supplementary food. 18,243 caregivers received Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and maternal counselling during the reporting period, while some 962 community members received Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) counselling. 69 children received integrated case management services in Badakhshan province. 205 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases across 12 provinces were identified and referred to Family Protection Centres (FPCs) for case management. 88 dignity kits were distributed to women and girls across 7 provinces. As part of its regular programming, WFP distributed food to 116,288 food insecure people between 13 and 19 August.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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