Afghanistan Weekly Update No. 353

Situation Report
Originally published
To date a total of USD 27.5 million has been pledged to Afghanistan. Of this, USD 21.6 million is in response to the Appeal. These represents ten percent of the total funding (USD 221 million) requested through the Appeal.

Of this amount, the greatest proportion has been pledged for the alleviation of human suffering and for Mine Action in particular.

In the lead so far among donors is Sweden, with a contribution of over USD ten million.

Population Survey in Kabul

With support from UNOCHA, the Central Statistics Office, Kabul has undertaken a new population survey, Using door-to-door visits, surveyors over the course of five months conducted the survey to provide more reliable information on the demography of greater Kabul City.

The survey has found that there has been a significant increase in the total population of the city, now put at 1.78 million. The survey also found a high degree of mobility among the resident population, with one in five families reporting a move within the past six months. The report also confirmed that almost one-third of the families resident in the city had in-migrated to the city in recent years. Finally, the survey also found that almost half of the families in the city now inhabit homes that are unregistered.

The full results of the survey are now being finalized and printed.


An UNHCR Inspection mission will be visiting this region from 4 to 16 March and will be meeting with the Heads of UN Agencies and will be visiting Afghanistan. Mr. Nicolas Morris, Inspector General of UNHCR in Geneva, will head the mission.

Food Security/Food Aid

Jalalabad Bakery

Several of the WFP bakeries scheduled to provide heavily subsidized bread to Jalalabad's most vulnerable families began operations on Friday 3 March; the remaining bakeries are expected to begin functioning sometime this week. The project is planned to operate through 31 May, covering the pre-harvest season, for 21,450 of the most vulnerable households in the city. WFP has approved the use of 4,153 MT of wheat for the three-month duration of the project.


The emergency operation in this region, covering districts in Helmand, Kandahar, including Kandahar city, and one district in Zabul province, has thus far distributed 1,698 MT of wheat and 424 MT of CSB to 20,425 of the most vulnerable households.

VAM Afghanistan conducted a baseline survey in Kandahar City in April 1999. The survey indicated that the minimum in-come level per person per month needed to meet the cost of minimum food needs in 1999 was US$3.92. While all households are able to purchase enough food to meet their minimum food needs, the poorest households are without an able-bodied male and earn 73% of their combined food and non-food needs and 50% of the income earned by poor households with an able bodied man. The income gap between households without an able-bodied man and those with a working male is more marked in Kandahar City than other cities in Afghanistan. The diet of poor households in Kandahar depends on cereals (70% wheat flour or bread and 10% rice). The city receives 50% of its cereal supplies from Pakistan and 40% from Kandahar province.



Kunduz: In response to reports of a measles outbreak from Chail Dukhtraran area of Kunduz province, a WHO/MSF joint medical team visited the area where 40 families are living out of which 16 are IDPs from Archi and Bangi districts. The disease affected eleven children and killed two. The team treated the cases with antibiotics and Vitamin A provided by UNICEF and advised EPI fixed centers to immunize all children adjacent to the area.

In addition, a measles outbreak was reported from Khanabad district of Kunduz. A WHO/MSF team visiting the area found a few cases, but the outbreak had not spread and immunization was controlling the situation.

Badakhshan: WHO, MoPH, UNICEF, and NGOs responded to two measles outbreaks in Darwaz and Khwahan. WHO provided medicine to the medical team sent by MoPH Badakhshan to Khwahan district. The NGO FOCUS carried medical supplies through Karugh, Tajikistan and back across the Amu River to Darwaz District of Badakhshan. They reported that 323 people have died because of measles outbreak in 24 villages of the district.

Darra Souf: According to reports WHO received on 28 February 2000 from Darra Souf (Samangan province), the measles outbreak in nine villages has affected 1920 persons, and has killed 256. The total population of the nine villages is 26,000 people. In a joint response by WHO, UNICEF, and UNOCHA, medical supplies were sent from Kabul to Yakawlang, Bamyan province from where a team of doctors of the Afghan NGO Shuhada traveled to the area on foot.

Herat: In Robati Sangi, Herat Province, a measles outbreak killed 79 children during the last two weeks. It affected 28 villages with a population of 20,400 persons. In a joint meeting of WHO/UNICEF/MOPH and health NGOs, a plan for measles outbreak response was prepared and a medical team was sent to the area.

Health Sector Planning Workshops

WHO in Jalalabad, Ghazni, Kunduz, and Kandahar conducted three-day health sector planning workshops aimed at reviewing the Plan of Action of 1999 and preparing an Action Plan for 2000. Public health officials, UN agencies, and NGOs attended the workshops.


WHO conducted a one-week training course for 20 Village Health Volunteers in Chardehi Village of Batikot district, Nangarhar province. In addition, WHO held two separate orientation sessions in Herat Regional and Farah Provincial Hospitals, which fifteen trainees from the sentinel sites and focal points of AFP surveillance system attended.

UNHCR, together with WHO will support a training programme, through which 150 women will be trained in traditional birth attendants in six districts of Kabul and Logar provinces, in collaboration with MoPH.

Under the auspices of UNICEF, the training of eleven midwives from Logar province is continuing. In a meeting between UNICEF and the Directors of MCH and Malalai Maternity Hospital, it was agreed that the trainees would receive 15 days practical work in MCH clinics following the completion of training on 4 March.

UNICEF will develop Puli Alam hospital as a Basic Health Unit with beds, since the number of visitors to this hospital is constantly increasing. The main referral hospital in Logar remains in Barakibarak.

Water and Sanitation

The Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR) has completed water supply and environmental sanitation projects in Baraki and Pul-i-Alam districts of Logar Province. These two projects have benefited over 900 families. The community provided unskilled labour and some materials. The materials provided in the project will be maintained by mechanics initially trained by DACAAR but now paid by the community.



The drought affecting southern Afghanistan is continuing to take a toll on livestock in the region. New reports, as yet unconfirmed, have been received that the drought is now affecting animals in Farah Province.

In Dand District of Kandahar, 14 farmers received technical training regarding cattle management and nutrition. Re-fresher Training courses are held for Veterinary Field Unit (VFU) veterinarians, assistant veterinarians and paraveterinarians. These courses aim at updating the technical knowledge of vets and paravets. In three weeks training courses, the main subjects covered are epidemiology and poultry disease, reproduction, nutrition, and parasitic and bacterial diseases, in addition to surgical interventions.

Training of Basic Veterinary Workers (BVWs) is jointly undertaken by VFU implementing partners (IPs). The BVW training programme is carried out by field VFU vets for a week per annum.


FAO Crops has published a bilingual (English and Dari) publication on Generating Income from Bee-keeping in Afghanistan. It covers types of bee species, the control of bee diseases and the generation of income from beekeeping.

The publication was written to support a training course for Afghan female and male beekeepers at the Honey Bee Re-search Institute, National Agricultural Re-search Centre in Islamabad in July 1999. In 1998, a FAO consultant investigated the potential for FAO to provide technical support to Afghan apiculture. It was discovered that a large portion of beekeeping concentrated on honey production, and that practitioners were unaware of the value of beeswax and the production of value added bee products.

The project and cost of the publication was funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom.

The document is available at FAO Crops for Afghanistan. For further information, please contact FAO Crops at


On 7 March, local authorities in Kandahar burned 4,500 kilos of hashish and 355 kilos of heroin on the outskirts of Kandahar City.

Rehabilitation assistance

In southern Afghanistan, UNHCR provided support for a sanitation project implemented by an Afghan NGO (SAS) in Khaki Jabar, aimed at improving the status of karezes to facilitate irrigation of agricultural lands in the approaching growing season for returnee families in the area.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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