Afghanistan: Weekly Humanitarian Update (24 February – 1 March 2020)

Situation Report
Originally published


Northeast: Over 373,000 people affected by the closure of health facilities in Takhar

Last week, precautionary measures were taken for 45 families (approximately 315 people) who arrived from Iran to be screened for COVID-19 in Kunduz province.

On 1 March, six health facilities were closed in Darqad, Khwaja Bahawuddin, Khwaja Ghar, Baharak, Rostaq and Cha-ab districts in Takhar province according to initial reports. Approximately 373,400 people are deprived of health services in Takhar province as a result of the closures. Negotiations are ongoing to resolve the issue.

Last week, 4,900 people affected by conflict received humanitarian assistance in Kunduz province. Moreover, 5,061 internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by conflict were assessed and will receive assistance in the coming days in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kunduz and Takhar provinces.

East: 10 health facilities reopened in Laghman province

On 23 February, 3,157 people were reportedly displaced due to clashes between a Non-State Armed Group (NSAG) and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in Chawkay and Narang districts in Kunar province. Local government authorities responded with life-saving assistance including food, relief items and tents for more than 700 IDPs.

On 26 February, 10 health facilities reopened in Alingar districts, Laghman province. The health facilities have been closed since 1 February affecting 40,000 people.

According to initial reports, 14 houses were damaged after three days of rain last week in Khas Kunar, Nurgal, Bar Kunar districts in Kunar province and in Mehtarlam and Alingar districts in Laghman province. Also, severe rain reportedly contributed to the death of one girl and injured 11 people in Laghman province.

Last week, interagency assessment teams identified 1,309 IDPs to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days across the eastern part of the country; and 5,194 IDPs received humanitarian assistance in Nangarhar, Nuristan and Kunar provinces. In addition, 5,900 returnees, IDPs and people from host communities were reached with emergency outpatient health services. This week, a total of 5,897 children were vaccinated for polio and measles.

North: Some 1,750 people displaced by conflict in Balkh

Despite the announcement of a reduction in violence, some incidents were witnessed along the Mazar-Shiberghan road in Balkh province. Also, conflict between the ANSF and an NSAG resulted in the displacement of 250 families (approximately 1,750 people) from Zari district in Balkh province to Gosfandi district in Sar-e-Pul province.

Interagency assessment teams identified 770 people displaced by conflict in Balkh, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan provinces to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days.

South: Over 1,500 people affected by natural disasters received humanitarian assistance in Zabul

The South witnessed continued security incidents affecting civilians in Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces. Reportedly, seven civilians including five children and two women were wounded in two improvised explosive device detonations in Kandahar and Hilmand provinces.

Last week, 240 IDPs affected by conflict received humanitarian assistance in Hilmand province; and 1,549 people affected by natural disasters received humanitarian assistance in Zabul province. Interagency needs assessment teams identified 279 IDPs affected by natural disasters to receive humanitarian assistance in the coming days in Zabul province.

Centre: Over 9,400 people received winter assistance

Last week 9,450 IDPs, returnees and vulnerable people received winter assistance in Kabul. In addition, 462 IDPs affected by natural disasters received humanitarian assistance in Kapis and Paktya provinces. Assessments are ongoing for more than 6,000 people affected by conflict in Khost and Logar provinces.

West: Preparing and strengthening capacity for COVID-19 response

On 24 February, the Ministry of Public Health reported that one case of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Hirat province. The person had recently travelled from Qom in Iran. All schools in Hirat have been reportedly closed and public gatherings banned until further notice. As of 3 March, health authorities were investigating 81 people presumptively for COVID-19. All 81 people have been kept in isolation wards. The focus of activities in Afghanistan is on both preparedness and containment, but the overall health capacity in the country to respond to a widespread COVID-19 outbreak is insufficient. On 1 March, a joint UN mission visited Hirat to assess the situation and needs. On 26 February, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, supported by the Advisory Board of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, allocated US$1.5 million for urgently required COVID-19 preparedness and response capacity in-country.

A total of 322 internally displaced families (2,029 people) were assessed and assisted in Hirat and Farah provinces. Following initial reports that 128 families (896 people) were reportedly displaced from Ghor, Badghis, Kunduz, Ghazni, Daykundi and Hirat (Shindand, Kushk-e-Kuhna and Obe district), a joint needs assessment from 23 February to 1 March identified 47 families (329 people) as being in need of humanitarian aid specifically food, relief items and water, hygiene and sanitation.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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