Afghanistan

Afghanistan: COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Response Operational Situation Report, 6 May 2020

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 3,392 people across all 34 provinces. 104 people have died and 460 recovered.

  • Partners have delivered WASH assistance and hygiene promotion activities to more than 307,000 people, and supported more than 5,618 men, women, boys and girls with psychosocial support services to cope with the emotional consequences of COVID-19.

  • Humanitarians continue to monitor the secondary impacts of extended lockdowns on vulnerable households and warn these may exacerbate existing needs, pushing households to adopt negative coping strategies.

  • Partners have raised concerns about women imprisoned with their children, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission amid congestion.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

MoPH data shows that 3,392 people across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan are now confirmed to have COVID-19. Some 460 people have recovered, and 104 people have died. Of the 104 people who have died from COVID-19, 74 had at least one underlying disease, the most common of which are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease and neurological diseases. The majority of fatalities were between the ages of 40-69. Men between the ages of 40-69 represent around 50 per cent of all COVID-19-related deaths. Cases are expected to increase rapidly over the weeks ahead as community transmission escalates, creating grave implications for Afghanistan’s economy and people’s well-being. Kabul is now the most affected part of the country, followed by Hirat, Kandahar and Balkh.

A number of provinces have instituted measures to limit the exposure of residents to COVID-19. Throughout the country, these ‘**measured lockdowns**’ have resulted in closures of sections of each city and/or movement limitations. Reports indicate that despite assurances by the Government that these would not limit critical program movements of NGOs and the UN, the measures continue to impact on the mobility of humanitarian organisations. A number of provinces – including Kandahar, Hilmand and Ghazni – have begun easing their lockdowns. The move, which coincides with the start of Ramadan, has seen movement restrictions being lifted with shops allowed to open during specific daytime hours.

Humanitarian partners remain active in responding to crises throughout the country and continue to urge the Government to employ a national approach to these movement issues so that individual negotiations are not required on a case-by-case basis. Humanitarians remain concerned about the impact of extended lockdown measures on the most-vulnerable, particularly families who rely on causal daily labour and lack alternative income sources. According to WFP’s market monitoring, the prices of wheat flour, rice, pulses or cooking oil have increased by 15 per cent between 14 March and 4 May, while the cost of pulses, sugar and rice increased by 14 per cent, 7 per cent, and 9 per cent, respectively, over the same period. FSAC partners have also noted that the purchasing power of casual labourers and pastoralists has significantly deteriorated by 18 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, due to price increases and decreased wages (compared to 14th March). Already, humanitarian partners note a rise in protection risks as vulnerable households resort to negative coping mechanisms to meet basic subsistence needs. As public fear of COVID-19 spreads, humanitarians remain concerned about potential stigmatisation of and discrimination against those who are perceived to have COVID-19, particularly those who have recently returned from neighbouring countries. Humanitarians urge authorities to put additional measures in place to safeguard individuals and families from exclusion and abuse.

While implementing activities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, humanitarians continue to respond to other ongoing and emerging humanitarian needs. Conflict and natural disasters across the country continue to displace thousands of families, compounding pre-existing vulnerabilities and making them potentially more susceptible to serious consequences from COVID-19. During this week’s reporting period, partners have responded to the needs of 159 families affected by natural disaster in Kapisa, Kabul and Panjsher provinces with emergency NFI assistance. Moreover, 84 IDPs displaced by conflict were recently assessed and assisted with NFI assistance in cash. ES-NFI partners assessed the needs of 4,125 IDPs displaced by clashes in Norgal and Chawki districts of Kunar province and provided emergency shelter and NFI assistance to almost 2,102 families. Protection partners also continue to monitor and respond to ongoing needs; 57 children without parental care have been identified in border areas of Hirat and Kandahar provinces, and were provided with interim care before being reunified with their families. 210 women were provided with dignity and sanitary packages in Bamyan and Balkh provinces. 10 GBV cases were identified and referred to Family Protection Centres (FPCs) in Badghis province. WFP has continued to respond to ongoing food needs, distributing food to more than 225,000 food insecure people over the past week.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.