Afghanistan: Flash Update – Displacement due to fighting in North Eastern Afghanistan (30 May 2021)


Key Highlights:

  • Heavy fighting continues in Baghlan Province, displacing families into Pul-e-Khumri city.

  • Authorities report more than 21,000 people have been displaced due to armed conflict in Baghlan Province.

  • Ten inter-agency assessment teams have been mobilised and deployed to the area to confirm numbers and needs. Further assessment scale-up is needed.

  • Food, non-food items, hygiene kits and cash assistance are the most urgent needs for the affected people. Distributions of humanitarian assistance are underway, reaching 2,500 people so far.

Situation overview:

Heavy fighting and armed clashes have continued throughout the month of May in Baghlan Province. According to reports from authorities more than 21,000 people have been displaced since the fighting began during the first week of May. Houses as well as public infrastructure, such as health facilities and schools, have been damaged due to the use of heavy artillery. Affected families also report losing their livestock and indicate heightened risk of unexploded ordinance on agricultural land.

The main road connecting Pul-e-Khumri to Kunduz and Mazar-e-Sharif remains contested and has been damaged along different sections. Illegal check points have reportedly been installed, creating additional challenges for partners transporting humanitarian commodities from Mazar-e-Sharif to Baghlan.

Humanitarian Impact:

Most of the newly displaced people are coming from Nahrin, Jilga, Guzargah-Noor, Burka, Baghlan-Jadid and Dahne-Ghori districts and have fled to locations in and around Pul-e-Khumri city. Affected families have taken shelter with host families, are renting accommodation or are staying in open areas. Based on initial assessment findings food, NFIs, hygiene kits and cash assistance are the most urgent needs.

Coordination and Response:

10 inter-agency assessment teams have been mobilised and deployed to the area. However, existing humanitarian capacity on the ground is insufficient to conduct timely needs assessment for the large number of IDPs. OCHA is liaising with partners at regional and national level to mobilise surge support to accelerate assessments.

Since the beginning of May, 9,520 people in Pul-e-Khumri city have been assessed, of whom approximately 5,159 people have been identified as needing humanitarian assistance. Two additional assessment teams will be deployed this week to confirm the needs of IDPs located outside of Pul-e-Khumri city. However, partners are not yet able to deploy assessment teams to Nahrin, Jilga, Burka and Guzargah Noor districts where active fighting continues.

As assessments continue, humanitarian partners have started delivering cash assistance for 2,500 displaced people. Additional stocks, including food commodities, are needed in Baghlan to respond to anticipated needs and fill current resource gaps within the region.

The next flash update will be provided if there is a significant change in the situation.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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