Afghanistan: Monthly Humanitarian Update (October 2019)

Situation Report
Originally published


Improving accountability to affected people





With 2019 almost over, humanitarian needs continue to grow in Afghanistan due to ongoing violence, natural disasters, internal displacement, growing food insecurity and dropping temperatures. The overall security situation remained tense across the country. Armed clashes affecting civilians continued across many parts of the country against a backdrop of delayed preliminary Presidential electoral results and a possible resumption of talks between the United States of America and the Taliban. Between 2 and 4 November, three separate incidents of pressure-plate Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) attacks occurred killing 20 people and injuring 10 in Paktika, Takhar and Baghlan provinces. The majority of causalities were women and children, including five children killed and four other children injured by a roadside pressure-plate IED in Takhar province who were on their way to school.

From August to October 2019, one-third of people in Afghanistan were facing severe acute food insecurity, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Alert. While there was some improvement (33 per cent in 2019 compared to 44 per cent in 2018) in the acute food insecurity situation compared to last year, the situation remained very severe with 12.6 million people in crisis (IPC Phase 3) or emergency (IPC Phase 4) situation according to WorldPop-Flowminder population data. It should be noted that the 2019 analysis included urban populations while the 2018 analysis only took into account rural populations.

Furthermore, urban populations were found to be equally or in some areas even more food insecure than rural populations. The main causes of food insecurity were: high unemployment and food prices, natural disasters, and the ongoing conflict in many areas resulting in internal displacement and lack of access to agricultural lands.

The number of people experiencing severe acute food insecurity is expected to rise in the coming months (November 2019 to March 2020) to 13.9 million people or 37 per cent of the population, out of which an estimated 3.4 million people are likely to be in an emergency situation and 10.5 million in a crisis situation based on WorldPop-Flowminder population data.

Despite the obstacles, humanitarian agencies continued to respond to people in need. Life-saving assistance was delivered in 372 of 401 districts (93 per cent of all districts). From January to September 2019, 5.4 million people have been reached with assistance at least once. This included 3.9 million people who received food and emergency livelihoods assistance. To address malnutrition, 880,000 women and children received emergency nutrition services, a significant increase from the 469,000 reached as of June 2019. In addition, 1,060,000 people were provided with access to safe water; 500,000 people were assisted with shelter, emergency relief items and winterisation support; 185,000 children in emergencies were provided with access to education. Some 820,000 people accessed health services and 199,262 people were reached with mine risk education. Over 850,000 people were reached with protection assistance.

By end of year, humanitarian agencies expect to substantially exceed its planned reach for 2019 with over 100 per cent of the target projected, partly due to substantial carry-over funds received in late 2018 for the drought response.

For more information on humanitarian response in Afghanistan, see:
Afghanistan: Humanitarian Response Plan 2018-2021: 2019 Quarter three dashboard (1 Jan - 30 Sep 2019)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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