Afghanistan: Weekly Humanitarian Update (12 - 19 August 2019)
IDPS IN 2019 (AS OF 18 AUG)
220,000 People newly displaced
192,500 Received assistance
RETURNEES IN 2019 (AS OF 3 AUG)
270,400 Returnees from Iran
16,700 Returnees from Pakistan
6,640 Returnees from other countries
HRP REQUIREMENTS & FUNDING
612M Requested (US$)
170M 28% funded (US$)
Contributions (US$) 5M
* Including carry over before HFU cost-plan 2020
Civilian casualties in lead-up to elections and ceasefire talks
On 17 August, a suicide bomber detonated his vest at a wedding hall in Kabul, killing 63 people and injuring more than 180 others in an attack claimed by the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK). Two days later, on 19 August, 17 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were reported to have detonated across Jalalabad City in Nangarhar causing an estimated 125 injuries.
In both cities, the vast majority of casualties were civilians. The attack in Kabul – the 14th suicide or complex attack in Kabul this year – also caused the highest number of casualties so far this year in the nation’s capital.
The deliberate targeting of civilians is a violation of International Humanitarian Law. In the context of the lead-up to this year’s elections and pressure from various stakeholders during widely publicised ceasefire negotiations, these attacks may be part of an escalation of violence that would further endanger civilians and affect their access to essential services. Escalations also occurred during the election periods in 2014 and 2018.
Access needed for polio immunisation
As of early August, more than half or 775,000 of the 1.4 million children targeted for polio vaccination in NSAG-controlled parts of northern Afghanistan missed out on life-saving immunisation. Areas where vaccinations were not able to occur included Balkh, Jawzjan, Sar-e- Pul, Faryab, and Samangan.
Polio vaccination campaigns have been suspended in many areas, both in Non-State Armed Group (NSAG) and Government controlled areas of the country since April 2019. The Government announced a nationwide immunization campaign on 5 August, however some areas have not been reachable due to insecurity. While the South has seen the largest number of cases, the western provinces are at particular risk of polio infection due to population movements from the South. The East is also at high risk due to cross-border movements and an active polio-virus outbreak in adjacent areas. Despite the challenges, 2.1 million people were vaccinated in July 2019.