Afghanistan + 1 more

Afghanistan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 71 | 1 – 31 December 2017

Situation Report
Originally published
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  • Conflict indicators reached record highs in 2017, including air strikes.

  • The coming months are expected to be drier and warmer than on average, affecting the upcoming winter and spring crops.

  • Pressure could mount again on more than two million Afghan citizens in Pakistan to return to their home country.

  • Awareness campaigns by health workers in Khost have built trust with residents and ensured their better treatment.

  • In 2017, a total of 377 incidents were registered against aid workers, assets, activities or related to humanitarian access.

  • The Afghanistan HRP was the second-best funded response plan globally in 2017 with the USA its biggest donor.

Conflict likely to dominate Afghanistan in 2018

Conflict indicators compiled and analysed by OCHA for the Humanitarian Needs Overview show a marked expansion of the conflict and more fighting across the country in the past months (see map) that will likely further dominate the situation this year. Foremost, the number of conflict incidents hit a ten-year record high, according to UN data.

Further, from January to September, the United States conducted 2,400 air strikes, the highest number since 2014, and dropped more munitions than in any of the past five years, according to the latest SIGAR report.

In an eroding stalemate that no party to the conflict seems to be able to win militarily, by August of last year, Non-State Armed Groups (NSAG) had taken control of 13 per cent of all districts, up from 11 per cent in February 2017, according to the SIGAR report, and 30 per cent of all districts were considered contested.

The number of civilian casualties from January to September 2017 was 8,019 (2,640 killed and nearly 5,379 injured), nearly reaching the record high of the same period in 2016 when 8,531 casualties were reported (2,616 killed and 5,915 injured), according to UNAMA.

Afghanistan ranked amongst top five countries globally for risk of crisis

The INFORM Global Risk Index for 2018 ranks Afghanistan amongst the five countries globally with the highest risk of humanitarian crisis and disasters in the world for the third year in a row. The country ranks behind Somalia, South Sudan and Chad and ahead of the Central African Republic and Yemen. The INFORM methodology works along three main dimensions: Hazards and exposure, vulnerability and lack of coping mechanism.

Compared to the previous year, the risk index value dropped slightly from 7.8 to 7.7, notably due to improved coping capacity. For the fifth year unchanged, the risk of natural hazards is at six on a scale of ten, as is the risk for man-made disaster with the projected conflict risk and intensity of conflict both at the top of the scale with ten out of ten.

Risk for neighbouring Pakistan was rated considerably lower than Afghanistan by IN-FORM with 6.4, despite a higher risk for natural disasters. The risk for conflict is rated same as Afghanistan at ten out of ten. The INFORM index for risk management, a collab-orative project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the European Com-mission, is a global tool that allows comparison and grouping of countries.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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