Afghanistan

Afghanistan: ICCT Real-Time Response Overview Situation Report (21 October 2021)

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This report is produced by OCHA Afghanistan in collaboration with humanitarian partners via clusters. This report covers activities carried out between 1 September and 15 October 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.

The next ICCT Real-Time Response Overview Situation Report will be released on 4 November and cover activities carried out between 1 September and 31 October.

HIGHLIGHTS

 Humanitarians seek US$606 million as part of the Flash Appeal to provide prioritised multi-sectoral assistance to 11 million people in the four remaining months of 2021. Donors are urged to fast-track funding to mitigate against avoidable deaths, prevent displacement and reduce suffering. Donors are also urged to ensure that funding is flexible enough to adapt to the fast-changing conditions on the ground. As at 21 October, the Flash Appeal remained only 45 per cent funded, with a shortfall of some $334 million.

 Humanitarians remain concerned about "conditional humanitarianism" or attempts to “leverage” humanitarian assistance for political purposes. Humanitarian action should never be conditioned to political, development, human rights or other non-humanitarian objectives. The conditioning of humanitarian aid is antithetical to the core principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, serves to erode respect for International Humanitarian Law and compromises humanitarian actors. 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 39,383 children with community-based education activities, supported 53,983 people with standard NFIs assistance, provided 4 million people with food assistance, reached 790,000 people with primary healthcare, provided treatment for Acute Malnutrition to 85,623 children under five, supported 27,310 people with psychosocial support services, and assisted 165,000 drought-affected people with water trucking.

 The majority of activities during the reporting period have been carried out with existing funding. Humanitarians continue to urge for pledged funding to be rapidly translated into commitments to resource immediate response and preparedness activities.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Forty years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic have devastated the people of Afghanistan. The recent upheaval has only exacerbated needs and further complicated an extremely challenging operational context.

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.

Humanitarians urge the de facto authorities to deliver on their promises to protect the rights of all Afghan citizens — including women, children, minority communities, former government employees. This includes ensuring freedom of movement for women to work and to enjoy their basic rights — and for girls to have effective access to all levels of education. Additionally, humanitarians are concerned about reports of forced evictions of minority communities. The de facto authorities are urged to respect the housing, land and property rights of all Afghans and the tenure documentation that they hold, including those residing on land of the former government.

Afghanistan is also facing its second drought in four years. The current drought is impacting one third of the country. This will deplete many people’s financial and asset reserves as they struggle to cope. Already, poor households have taken on catastrophic levels of debt. Many continue to rely on dangerous coping mechanisms to survive, including child labour, early and forced marriage, and risky irregular migration, and are taking on heightened protection risks as a result.

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. However, the Winterization plan currently remains only 33 per cent funded. Humanitarian partners have reached close to 10.3 million people with assistance across the country during the third quarter of the year. In September alone, more than 3.8 million people received food assistance, 21,000 children aged 6-59 months and 10,000 women received treatment for acute malnutrition, 32,000 people received non-food items including blankets and warm clothes for winter, 10,000 children were reached with community-based education activities, 450,000 people were reached with primary and secondary healthcare, 160,000 farmers and herders were provided with livelihoods support, 12,000 people received emergency psycho-social and mental health support, 186,000 drought-affected people received water, and 150,000 people received hygiene promotion and hygiene kits.

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