Fighting between armed groups in Nangarhar displaced more than 61,000 people since mid-October, 45,000 of which have received assistance.
Ramped up winterisation assistance reaches the most vulnerable families across the country.
The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan calls for US$430 million to assist 2.8 million people in acute need.
Furthermore, 8.7 million people are in chronic need in Afghanistan.
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12 humanitarian workers were injured in assaults in November, bringing the total of wounded aid workers to 27 this year
Massive displacements in Nangarhar
Following a series of clashes over the past months between two competing non-state armed groups in Khogyani district, Nangarhar, intense fighting erupted mid-October provoking the displacement of more than 40,000 people in just a few days to Khogyani district centre, Behsud, Chamtala, Chaparhar, Pachieragam and Surkh Rod districts, as well as Jalalabad City (see map on next page). Renewed fighting at the end of November led to another wave of displacement, forcing several thousand people from two dozen villages.
To date, more than 61,000 people have been displaced from Khogyani district.
Less than two hours to flee their home and find transport to safety
“There was fighting everywhere around our village and we decided to leave,” said one man who recently arrived in Surkh Rod district centre, 25 kilometres from the Khogyani district centre. “We walked at night because we thought it would be safer. But still one of us got struck by a bullet.” Abdul Jalil, who fled his village in Khogyani district two weeks ago, remembered: “We had less than two hours to get ready.” The mason was lucky enough to be able to afford to pay for transport and packed his wife, five children and a mattress into the taxi. “I paid US$90 to get here, three times the usual price.”
This chilly morning, he waited at a food distribution site organised by the NGO Afghan Planning Agency (APA), a national NGO-partner of the World Food Programme (WFP), fidgeting with the paper slip between his fingers that identified him as one of 300 heads of family who would receive a monthly food ration. Almost 5,500 families have already received either food or cash assistance intended to buy food.
Overstretched public health services
A group of women with children crowd the courtyard of the public clinic of Surkh Rod, looking for the reception. They all were displaced from Khogyani. One of them, Habida, explains that she lives in an improvised shelter covered by a tarp in the garden of a relative. “We are 13 people every night. It is cold and our children are getting sick.”
The director of the clinic, Dr. Samiullah, confirms the added pressure that the displaced families are putting on the existing health services: since mid-October, when the first influx of displaced families from Khogyani arrived in Surkh Rod, the number of patients treated increased from an average of 4,000 to 7,000 per month. Most of the consultations are for respiratory diseases.
However, the number of trauma cases has significantly increased from only a few per month mostly caused by road traffic accidents to around 200 per month. “The majority of them are gunshot wounds,” the doctor observed.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.