Afghanistan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 76 | 1 – 31 May 2018

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 May 2018

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was revised to include response to the drought and now calls for $547 million.

  • In May, flash floods and flooding affected more than 46,000 people across the country.

  • In provinces like Kandahar, Helmand, Wardak, Paktika, Zabul or Uruzgan up to 85 per cent of all girls are not going to school.

  • In 2018, more than 320,000 Afghan citizens have returned from Iran, many of them deported by authorities.

  • The head of ECHO in Afghanistan speaks in-depth on the humanitarian situation and the importance for aid workers to get out of the “Kabul Bubble”.

  • Funding for the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF)-Afghanistan is only $18 million so far this year.

Afghanistan HRP revised due to drought

The ongoing drought continues to affect families across the country, notably in the west and north. Under leadership the of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Toby Lanzer, the Humanitarian Country Team has decided to revise the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to seek an additional US$117 million for this year. “The drought is a natural disaster; it’s nobody’s fault and now is the moment to help. Without quick action the number of families and gravity of suffering will grow exponentially and that will end up costing us much more, later,” Toby Lanzer said. “I ask the international community to show empathy with the people of Afghanistan and respond now.” The additional funding will allow humanitarian partners to incorporate assistance to 1.4 million people mostly affected by the drought in the sectors of food security and agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene and nutrition. Altogether, the HRP now calls for nearly $547 million and plans to reach 4.2 million people across the country in 2018.

Farmers with no other option than feeding the ruined wheat harvest to livestock

“Last year I cultivated 560 kilograms of wheat seed and harvested more than double that weight. This year I cultivated 640 kilograms but the complete harvest failed,” Abdul Hakim, 30, from Baghak village in Badghis told OCHA. Like hundreds of other farmers, all he could do is cut the non-germinated wheat to use it as animal fodder.

He and his family were selected as one of 1,400 most vulnerable families affected by the drought and received food rations for two months. The project implemented by World Vision International is funded with $400,000 by the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF)-Afghanistan. Another project funded by the CHF-Afghanistan started in April is providing safe drinking water to more than 70,000 people affected by drought in Badghis.

Mohammad Ibrahim, father of eight and suffering from chronic illness, also had been selected by the NGO for food assistance early in the year but is now running out of food. “We have nothing else to eat to survive. My neighbours cannot help me either, because they also have nothing,” he explained. “I will stay here until I am assisted, or die.”

Worst drought in five decades

“We have had droughts in the past, I remember the dry years of the 1970s,” Abdul Rashid, the head of Community Development Councils in Baghak explained. “But in my whole lifetime, I have not experienced such a severe drought as this year.” The food distributed by World Vision International, he said, had kept families from moving to the cities to seek assistance. “Now, a few months later, several hundred families are considering migrating to Hirat, hoping for assistance from the Government or humanitarians.”

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