Afghanistan: Weekly Humanitarian Update (16 March to 22 March 2020)

Situation Report
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Northeast: Over 8,000 people received humanitarian assistance

Fighting between a Non-State Armed Group (NSAG) and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) continued in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar provinces.

Between 20 and 21 March, severe flooding and rainfalls caused the destruction of homes in Khowja Ghar, Dashti Qala and Rostaq districts in Takhar province. Inter-agency assessments teams were deployed to assess humanitarian needs.

During the reporting period, 8,736 people affected by conflict received humanitarian assistance in Badakhshan, Baghlan and Kunduz provinces. Moreover, 637 internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by conflict were assessed and will receive assistance in the coming days in Baghlan province.

East: Almost 8,000 people received humanitarian assistance

Clashes continued between the ANSF and an NSAG in Sherzad and Mohmand Dara districts in Nangarhar, Ghaziabad district in Kunar, Alishang district in Laghman provinces.

Last week, interagency assessment teams identified 3,843 IDPs to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days across the eastern part of the country; and 7,978 IDPs and returnees received humanitarian assistance in Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar provinces. In addition, 6,890 returnees, IDPs and people from host communities were reached with emergency outpatient health services. A total of 5,389 children were vaccinated for polio and measles.

North: First COVID-19 death confirmed in Balkh

Fighting between an NSAG and ANSF continued in Balkh and Faryab provinces.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, one person died of COVID-19 on 22 March in Balkh province which was the first death from the virus in Afghanistan.

1,099 IDPs affected by conflict received humanitarian assistance in Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan provinces. Also, interagency assessment teams identified 1,652 people displaced by conflict in Balkh, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan provinces to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days.

South: Ongoing fighting displaced people in Zabul and Hilmand

Fighting continued between an NSAG and the ANSF in Hilmand, Kandahar and Zabul provinces. According to initial reports, ongoing fighting displaced 50 families (approximately 350 people) in Arghandab district in Zabul province. Also, ongoing clashes in Nahr-e-Saraj district in Hilmand province reportedly displaced some families and resulted in the injury of three civilian including a child according to initial reports.

199 IDPs affected by conflict received humanitarian assistance in Zabul province. Inter-agency assessment teams identified 2,297 people who were displaced by conflict to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days in Hilmand and Nimroz provinces. Needs assessments for IDPs affected by conflict are ongoing for 2,640 people in Kandahar and Hilmand provinces.

Centre: Over 1,000 people received humanitarian aid

406 IDPs affected by natural disasters received humanitarian assistance in Daykundi and Paktya provinces. In addition, 777 IDPs affected by conflict received cash and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance in Paktya province.

West: Restricted movement announced in Hirat

Fighting continued between an NSAG and the ANSF in Shindand district in Hirat, Balamurghab district in Badghis provinces. Jawand district in Badghis province remained under the control of an NSAG which interrupted the delivery of food assistance to people in need in the Badghis district administrative centre and its surrounding villages.

A total of 767 IDPs were assessed and assisted in the western part of the country. Needs assessments are ongoing in Badghis, Ghor and Hirat provinces.

The Hirat Provincial Governor announced in a public statement a restriction on movement due to COVID-19 starting 25 March along with plans to disinfect Hirat city. Further details on accessing essential services will be shared shortly. The implications of these measures on humanitarian operations are being assessed.

Contact tracing for the people confirmed with COVID-19 is ongoing with confirmed cases in Hirat, Samangan, Balkh, Daikundi, Farah, Kapisa, Badghis, Logar, Zabul, Kandahar, Ghazni and Kabul provinces. Most people with the virus have a travel history outside Afghanistan. To date, testing has been small scale which may account for the relatively low number of confirmed cases given the high number of border crossings with Iran where there are thousands of cases.

Funding Update

A $1.5 million Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF) Reserve Allocation for the COVID-19 response was disbursed to the WHO last week. The AHF is completing the first Standard Allocation totalling $20 million for multi-cluster response for approval by the Humanitarian Coordinator next week. To support COVID-19 response, the Humanitarian Coordinator is planning to disburse remaining AHF funds (approximately $10 million) through reserve allocations, including to keep the vital UN Humanitarian Air Service operational.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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