Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Ghazni Conflict Update No. 4 (as of 20 August 2018)

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Situation

  • The fighting in the city has reportedly ended and Afghan security forces are manning checkpoints throughout the city. On Friday, Taliban fired several rockets into the city centre from the outskirts during a visit of the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, without causing casualties.

  • The ring road of Ghazni has reportedly been cleared of IEDs and is reopened for civilian traffic.

  • Travel from Kabul to Ghazni via Highway 1 is possible but remains risky, notably due to sporadic fighting between Saidabad, Wardak, and Ghazni.

  • Both electricity and telecommunication services are reportedly operational again, however outages persist. A large number of solar power systems that residents relied on prior to the conflict have re-portedly been damaged and are no longer functional.

  • Tawhid Abad and Pashtoon Abad neighbourhoods appear to be the most affected areas of the city, with an estimated 2,000 houses damaged to some extent during the recent fighting. There also re-ports of the conflict having damaged pubic infrastructure, including the water distribution system.

  • Many shops that had been closed have reportedly reopened and residents were back on the streets on Friday and Saturday. However, prices are much higher than prior to the fighting according to key informants. In some areas of the city, people are reluctant to move freely due to the high risk of un-exploded ordnance and mines.

  • The estimated number of civilian casualties is around 300, with verification ongoing.

Humanitarian Impact

  • Pressing humanitarian needs reported by partners through key informant interviews are medical as-sistance, water and food. Further, there are high needs for psychosocial assistance and trauma-re-lated mental health care.

  • More than 7,500 people fled their homes in the city to neighbouring villages, according to interviews with key informants. First return movements have been reported. Community elders, on behalf of reportedly displaced families, have requested support for more than 18,000 people and partners have started humanitarian assessments.

  • Injured people are receiving the necessary medical treatment at the provincial hospital, or have been evacuated to Kabul for the treatment of serious injuries.

Humanitarian Coordination

  • A joint mission by UNDSS and OCHA reached the city on 19 August via road from Kabul.

  • OCHA held the first coordination meeting in Ghanzni since the attack on the city on 10 August. It was attended by the NGOs CARE, CTG and DACAAR, as well as the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and the Directorate of Refugees and Returnees (DoRR).

  • Partners conducted an initial rapid assessment via structured interviews with more than two dozen key informants in five neighbourhoods of the city, ahead of more detailed sectorial assessments.

  • UNDSS is assessing the possibility for UN aircraft to land in Ghazni. Prior to the conflict, there were no regular flights to the city.

Humanitarian Response

Further to activities reported in previous updates:

  • Authorities have provided food for 2,000 families and distributed blankets, according to officials.

  • WFP has delivered a total of 110 metric tons of food to the city, sufficient for 3,300 people for one month. Another 124 metric tons of food are currently being dispatched. Arrangements for adequate storage in the city have been made.

  • UNICEF has delivered nutritional supplies, medical supplies including essential drugs, midwifery kits, emergency new born kits, and clean delivery kits to the Department of Public Health in Ghazni.

  • Two generators donated by OCHA and one procured by UNICEF have reached the city and were delivered to the Department of Water Works to support restoration of the water supply.

  • Five mine action teams of UNMAS partners in the city have surveyed three roads for the presence of unexploded ordnance and destroyed three unexploded rounds. The teams will remain operational throughout the Eid holidays to respond to any emergency

  • UNFPA has prepositioned 500 dignity kits with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) for deliv-ery to the city and subsequent distribution.

Advocacy Priorities

  • Establishing the possibility for UN aircraft to land in Ghazni is a priority to enable both national and international humanitarian workers to quickly and safely access the city.

  • Key informants have pointed to high needs for psychosocial support for residents, including girls and boys.

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