Afghanistan: Weekly Humanitarian Update (16 - 22 September 2019)

South: Civilian casualties and destruction of a hospital in Zabul

On 19 September, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack claimed by a Non-State Armed Group (NSAG) in Zabul province caused severe damage to a provincial hospital rendering it out of service. Reportedly, 20 people were killed and more than 100 were injured. People have been receiving treatment in other hospitals in Zabul, with critical cases being sent to Kandahar. The majority of casualties were patients, doctors and hospital staff. Zabul is among the most under-served provinces in the country where 60 per cent of the population are more than two hours away from any health facility. Clashes continued in Uruzgan, Hilmand, Zabul and Kandahar provinces. Ongoing Afghanistan National Security (ANSF) operations have resulted in major displacement in Hilmand and Uruzgan provinces.

Inter-agency assessment teams identified 1,155 people as being in need of humanitarian assistance in Spin Boldak in Kandahar and Zaranj in Nimroz and Qalat in Zabul provinces in the past week.

North-east: 30,912 IDPs received assistance

In country’s north-east, armed clashes continued between ANSF and NSAG in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces. Last week, 3,500 people were displaced from Kocha Kampodar and Shenwary villages to Pul-Khumri city, Baghlan province due to the clashes between ANSF and NSAG. In Badakhshan, conflict continued in Khustak valley, Jorm district and significant displacement is expected. Humanitarian partners were not able to reach affected families in the Khustak valley due to ongoing military operations.

Last week, around 12,943 internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by conflict were verified by inter-agency assessment teams in Baghlan, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces as being in need of humanitarian assistance. During the period, 30,912 IDPs displaced by conflict were reported to have received assistance in Kunduz, Baghlan, Badakhshan and Takhar provinces.

North: Clashes reported in several districts in Balkh and Faryab In the north, clashes between NSAG and ANSF in Balkh and Faryab provinces continued. Reportedly, more than 210 people were displaced to Andkhoy district, Faryab province last week due to clashes in the Qurghan district administration centre. Also, sporadic armed clashes were reported between ANSF and NSAG in Pashtun Kot, Dawlat Abad and Garzewan districts of Faryab province.

During the past week, inter-agency teams verified 1,701 IDPs in need of humanitarian assistance in Balkh, Jawzjan and Sar-e-Pul, Samangan and Faryab provinces who were previously displaced by fighting. During the reporting period, 5,831 IDPs who were affected by conflict received humanitarian assistance in Balkh and Faryab provinces.

East: 7,623 people received humanitarian assistance

The security situation remained volatile in the east and military operations in Surkh Rod, Chaparhar and Achin districts in Nangarhar province and in Ghazi Abad and Sar Kani districts in Kunar province continued. Around 1,500 people were displaced from the Mazar Dara area in Nurgal district, Kunar province due to escalating clashes among NSAG. On 19 September, a drone strike hit the Wazir Tangi area of Khogyani district, Nangarhar province. International Military Forces confirmed that the Islamic State of Khorasan was the intended target while conflicting reports from the area indicate that farm workers may have been among the casualties. As the area is remote, the impact on civilians is still being assessed.

14 joint assessment teams verified 9,828 people as in need of humanitarian assistance who were affected by conflict in Surkh Rod, Khogyani and Jalalabad districts in Nangarhar. 7,623 people were reached with food, relief items, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces during the last week. The National Immunization Days polio campaign, conducted between 14 and 16 September, reached nearly 1.2 million children under five in the eastern Afghanistan, equivalent to 78 per cent of the target.

Centre: Election-related violence affecting civilians

On 17 September, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated an improvised explosive device(IED) near the entrance of an election rally in Charikar, the provincial capital of Parwan province. According to initial reports, 24 people were killed and 34 others were wounded in the attack. Later, on the same day in Kabul, 16 people were killed and 45 injured by a suicide attack in Police District 9. The majority of casualties were civilians in both attacks. One female university student was killed and five others were injured when a roadside IED was detonated near a vehicle transporting university students in Ghazni on 16 September. Several other female students were injured and treated at nearby hospitals, according to local officials.

Throughout the country, civilians continued to be affected by violence in the lead up to the Presidential elections scheduled to take place on 28 September.

Between 17 and 18 September, 679 people in Khost and Maidan Wardak provinces, who were affected by conflict were reached with humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian partners also identified 4,557 IDPs affected by conflict who will receive assistance in Maidan Wardak, Paktya, and Daykundi provinces in the coming days.

West: Clashes continued, 1,400 displaced

Clashes continued in Anar Dara and Qala-e-Kah districts, Farah province. Last week, reportedly 1,400 people have been displaced from Kushk district, Hirat province due to clashes between ANSF and NSAG.

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