This report is produced by OCHA Afghanistan in collaboration with humanitarian partners via clusters. This report covers activities carried out between 16 and 31 December 2021. It aims to provide a frequent overview of response activities against the needs articulated in the Flash Appeal. The reporting timeframe will match the Flash Appeal which details a four-month – from 1 September to 31 December 2021 – strategic response to the current crisis. The plan draws largely on unmet needs detailed in the 2021 HRP (Humanitarian Response Plan) while also incorporating new emerging needs, as they are currently understood.
This will be the last ICCT Real-Time Response Overview Situation Report focused on activities since the launch of the Flash Appeal. The ICCT will return to its regular pattern of monthly and quarterly reporting in 2022.
• Humanitarians sought US$606 million as part of the Flash Appeal to provide prioritised multi-sectoral assistance to 11 million people in the last four months of 2021. With thanks to donors’ generous support, the Flash Appeal has received USD 823 million (135.8 per cent of the total ask) as of 31 December.
• Humanitarians remain concerned about "conditional humanitarianism" or attempts to “leverage” humanitarian assistance for political purposes. Further, donors are urged to ensure transactions and other activities required for humanitarian operations are excluded from the scope of sanctions regimes to allow humanitarian activities to continue without impediment.
• Since 1 September 2021, partners have reached 145,605 children with community-based education activities, supported 192,294 people with household items, provided 9.4 million people with food assistance, reached 1,611,921 people with primary and secondary healthcare (direct consultations), provided treatment for Acute Malnutrition to 275,584 children under five, supported 64,038 people with individual protection assistance including cash for protection, and reached 552,665 people with WASH assistance including through hygiene promotion and hygiene kits.
Forty years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic have devastated the people of Afghanistan. At the same time, the recent economic upheaval and ruptures in basic services, financial systems and civil service are transpiring and exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation.
Even prior to the events of 15 August, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was one of the worst in the world. By the mid-year mark, nearly half of the population – some 18.4 million people – were already in need of humanitarian and protection assistance in 2021.
Protection and safety risks to civilians, particularly women, children and people with a disability, were also reaching record highs. While one of the main active conflicts has mostly ceased following the events of 15 August, humanitarians remain deeply concerned about the continued detrimental impact on the population of leftover explosive devices, which mainly harm children, and of continued conflict between the de facto authorities and other armed groups. Of further concern are continued reports of the targeting of former government employees and security forces, human rights defenders, media employees, religious elders, and humanitarian staff, and sectarian-motivated attacks. Armed actors are urged to fulfil stated commitments on respect for human rights and non-retaliation.
The country is currently facing the second drought in four years and the worst of its kind in 27 years. The recently updated Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis shows the food security situation has further deteriorated with worrying implications for the winter lean season ahead. An estimated 22.8 million people, or 55 per cent of the population, are expected to be in crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC 3+) between November 2021 and March 2022, a nearly 35 per cent increase from the same season last year (16.9m). No provinces have been included under IPC 1 and 2 during the projected period till March 2022. Some 9 million people projected to be in IPC 4 – the highest number in the world, both in absolute and relative terms.
In rural areas, this is largely driven by the drought. In urban areas, income loss (driven by economic shocks) has contributed to the rapid deterioration in food insecurity. 10 out of 11 most densely populated urban areas are anticipated to be in IPC 4.
Sharp drops in income, surging food and other commodity prices, growing unemployment and severed remittances are expected to contribute to the deterioration of food security. No population group had a net positive income in 2021.
Assessments show that more households have higher than average debt this year. While markets continue to function, prices for key commodities remain well above pre-pandemic levels and the purchasing power of casual labourers and pastoralists remains significantly reduced. WFP market monitoring shows that wheat and fuel (diesel) prices are 46 and 39 per cent higher as compared to June 2021. As the country experiences sharp economic shocks and de-couples from the global economic system and international development support, the value of the Afghani currency is falling, affecting import of essential goods and people’s ability to buy them. This is critically concerning as already, food – on average – constitutes more than 82 per cent of a households’ income.
The recent leadership transitions in the country and unfolding implications on basic services, financial systems and markets has led to a further deterioration of the situation for vulnerable people. While the full impact of recent events will take more time to manifest, aid organisations have already witnessed a dangerous deepening of humanitarian need amongst a greater number of people.
Humanitarians in Afghanistan are in a race against time to deliver life-saving aid to crisis-affected people and preposition supplies ahead of winter. By the end of 2021, humanitarian partners reached almost 18 million people with life-saving multisector assistance in 384 of Afghanistan’s 401 districts.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.