Afghanistan + 2 more

Afghanistan: Weekly Humanitarian Update (15 - 21 March 2021)

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South: Fighting continued and civilians displaced

During the reporting period, fighting between Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and a non-state armed group (NSAG) continued with reported airstrikes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) detonations in Kandahar, Hilmand, and Zabul provinces.

In Kandahar province, IED clearance operations are ongoing in Arghandab, Panjwayi, Zheray and some parts of Dand districts. Despite an increased presence of ANSF in Kandahar city, targeted killings reportedly increased in the city raising concerns among civilians. According to initial reports, on 14 March, Highway-1 connecting Kandahar to Hilmand and western provinces reopened for public movements, however, civilians are still worried about the threat of IEDs.

In Hilmand province, fighting between ANSF and an NSAG continued with reported airstrikes in Nahr-e-Saraj, Nad-e-Ali, Lashkargh and Naw-e-Barakzaiy districts. Also, fighting is ongoing in the Basharan, Bolan, Spina Kota and Sur Gudar areas in the outskirts of Lashkargah district. Reportedly, 36 IEDs were safely defused in Band-e-Barq area, Nahr-e-Saraj district.

According to provincial authorities, approximately 6,804 people were displaced from Arghestan, Arghandab, Panjwayi and Zheray districts to Kandahar city. Interagency teams are assessing the needs of displaced people. On 18 March, 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) received humanitarian assistance in Kandahar province. A total of 2,259 IDPs were identified by interagency assessment teams to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days in Hilmand, Kandahar and Nimroz provinces.

Considering NSAG movements in the south and the end of the winter season, there are fears of increased hostilities in southern provinces which will likely affect communities in affected areas. Fighting would also increase IDPs’ vulnerability and hamper their return and access to their places of origin and livelihoods.

North-east: 227,171 people received winter assistance

Fighting between ANSF and an NSAG continued across the north-east. On 16 March, two people were reportedly killed and four others injured by gunfire on a bus carrying students and teachers from the agriculture faculty in the Khala Zayee area, Baghlan province. On 11 March, three children were reportedly killed by an unexploded ordnance detonation in Hazar Somoch district, Takhar province. In another incident, on 15 March, three people were killed and two others wounded by fighting in Imam Sahib district, Kunduz province.

Humanitarian assistance reached 15,134 people affected by conflict in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Takhar and Kunduz provinces. Assessment teams identified 518 people displaced by conflict in Takhar and Kunduz provinces to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days. Also, from November 2020 to March 2021, 227,171 vulnerable people received winter assistance in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar provinces.

East: Intense clashes and explosions impacting civilians

Clashes between ANSF and an NSAG intensified in the east mainly in Sherzad and Hesarak districts in Nangarhar province. On 21 March, five explosions were reported in different parts of Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province. The number of casualties is yet to be confirmed, but at least two people were reportedly killed and eight others were injured. According to provincial authorities, as of 18 March, 79,212 people were registered as displaced across the east. A total of 16 interagency assessment teams deployed to affected areas and identified 19,238 IDPs to receive immediate humanitarian assistance. A total of 16,282 IDPs were reached with one-month of food assistance and 7,294 IDPs were reached with household items.

Interagency assessment teams identified 3,038 people to receive immediate humanitarian assistance. During the reporting period, 17,864 people received humanitarian assistance — among them are 12,579 newly displaced people, 21 undocumented returnees and 5,264 vulnerable people in host communities. A total of 11,509 returnees, IDPs, and people from host communities were reached with emergency outpatient health services; and 589 children were vaccinated to protect them against polio and measles.

West: 301 IDPs identified to receive humanitarian aid

The security situation remained volatile across the west. On 18 March, two civilians were reportedly injured by an IED detonation in Ghaibatan village, Injil district in Hirat province.

During the reporting period, 301 people internally displaced people were identified to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days. They were displaced from different provinces to Hirat city in the last three months.

Centre: Increased violence and IEDs result in civilian casualties

The security situation remained unstable in the centre of the country. Fighting and IED detonations were reported in Kabul, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Khost, Ghazni, Paktika and Paktya provinces. On 15 March, two civilians were reportedly killed and 15 others wounded by an IED that detonated against a bus transporting Government employee in Police District 2, Dahan-e-Bagh area in Kabul city. In another incident, on 18 March, four people were reportedly killed and 15 others wounded when a roadside IED hit a bus in Police District 17, Sar-e-Kotal area in Kabul city. On 20 March, a civilian was reportedly killed by a roadside IED in the Bazar Mushtarak area in Nawmish district, Daykundi province.

Interagency assessment teams identified 2,793 internally displaced people to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days in Bamyan, Paktya, Kapisa and Khost provinces. A total of 7,273 people received winter assistance in Daykundi province.

North: 33,040 people received cash assistance for food

During the reporting period, armed clashes between ANSF and an NSAG continued in Balkh, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan and Samangan provinces.

Interagency assessment teams identified 1,281 people affected by conflict to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days in Balkh, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Samangan and Jawzjan provinces. A total of 385 people affected by conflict received humanitarian assistance in Andkhoy and Maymana districts of Faryab province. In addition, 33,040 IDPs and vulnerable people received cash assistance for food in Faryab province.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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