Afghanistan: Flash Update – Displacement due to fighting in eastern Afghanistan (25 May 2021)


Key Highlights:

  • Heavy fighting continues in Laghman province, including in Mehtalam City – the provincial capital.

  • Assessment teams are working to confirm the humanitarian impact of the situation. To date, between 11,000 and 14,000 people are reported to have been displaced.

  • Partners mobilised six inter-agency assessment and response teams in early May 2021 when fighting intensified.

  • Health assistance (through mobile health teams (MHTs), food distribution and water trucking are underway, while preparations are being made to provide sanitation and hygiene support.

Situation Overview:

Heavy fighting has been reported in Laghman province in May 2021. Since 23 May, the fighting escalated into and around Mehtalam City, the provincial capital. Reports indicate there has been significant displacement and that most shops and businesses in the city were temporarily closed.

Humanitarian Impact:

According to reports from authorities, communities and assessment teams, it is estimated that between 11,000 and 14,000 people have been displaced. Most of the newly displaced people are reportedly coming from Alingar, Alishang and Dawlatshwa districts and are now staying in Mehtalam City. New IDPs are scattered across the city, some residing in public service structures (such as schools) and others with host communities. These IDPs are accessible to humanitarian assessment and response teams.

Six inter-agency assessment and response teams have been deployed across the province since 24 May 2021. Based on initial assessment findings, food, NFIs, WASH and health needs are the most urgent. Assessments continue and will further inform the humanitarian response over the coming days.

Further reports indicate that new IDPs from Laghman province are coming into Jalalabad City. This will be confirmed by additional assessment teams which are presently in process of being deployed.

Coordination and Response:

Laghman Provincial authorities convened an ad-hoc PDMC meeting with line ministries to evaluate the ongoing situation and plan Government’s response. The Government, through ANDMA, has started distribution of food assistance.

The Eastern Region Humanitarian Regional Team (HRT) met today (25 May) to discuss the ongoing assessments and identify gaps in the humanitarian response. Humanitarian partners stand ready to deploy more resources to meet needs identified through the ongoing assessments.

So far, two MHTs have been deployed in and around Mehtalam City. As part of the health response, partners have provided trauma kits and inter-agency emergency health kits (IEHK) to the Department of Public Health (DoPH) in Laghman province. Trauma care is reaching affected people while plans are underway to kickstart psychosocial support. Water trucking is underway while partners have completed site selection for emergency latrine installation and have started work on water reservoirs. Partners plan to distribute hygiene kits.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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