Six months after the National Unity Government came to power, Afghanistan remains in political, military, and economic transition. Intensified conflict has caused large scale displacement and increased civilian casualties. As of 31 March, 20,000 individuals were displaced due to conflict this year alone, including 5,000 displaced in Helmand due to military operations.
Humanitarian partners report a two-fold increase in civilian casualties treated at hospitals in the province compared to 2014. Conflict and insecurity significantly impedes humanitarian access to displaced populations. Safety of aid workers continues to be of great concern, the start of the year notably marked by the killing of five Save the Children International staff members abducted in Uruzgan province. In 2015 Afghanistan has once again experienced wide scale natural disasters impacting 24 provinces. In February, the government and humanitarians were quick to respond to the needs of 9,000 families affected by heavy snow, avalanches and flooding.
To date, return of undocumented Afghans in 2015 exceeds total returns for 2014 by 240 per cent. These and other emergencies, including the sustained response to refugees in Khost and Paktika, are raising concerns about the capacity of humanitarian actors to respond. IOM and WFP have already raised the alarm on funding shortfalls that could impact their ability to adequately cover populations in need of humanitarian assistance.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.