Afghanistan + 3 more

Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (4 - 10 May 2021)

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AFGHANISTAN

On 8 May, more than 60 civilians – mostly schoolgirls – were killed and more than 150 civilians were wounded by a car bomb which detonated in front of the Sayed Al-Shuhada school and by multiple other bombs in Dasht-e-Barchi, Kabul city. On 10 May, 11 civilians were reportedly killed and 27 others were injured when a bus was hit by a roadside IED detonation in Pul-e-Sokhta area in Tarnak Wa Jaldak district of Zabul Province.

The conflict between the Afghan National Security Forces and non-state armed groups continues to result in human casualties, including in Helmand Province where 100 people were injured, 11 killed, and 1,000 families were displaced by fighting on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah. Many of the displaced families have sought shelter in the city, where local medical care provider and humanitarian partners are providing medical assistance to wounded patients.

Several provinces were affected by widespread flash flooding events since 3 May which have caused fatalities and destroyed homes. At least 37 people have died, more than 910 households were affected, dozens of homes destroyed, irrigation canals damaged and livestock lost across ten provinces in central, northern and western regions of Afghanistan, according to the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority. Assessments and the provision of humanitarian assistance are ongoing but slowed down by access constraints.¹

NEPAL

Nepal has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, rising from 152 new cases per day on 1 April to more than 9,100 new cases per day on 10 May. The RT-PCR test positivity rate is over 40 per cent, which suggests under-testing or increased disease transmission, or both. The recent wave in cases is severely straining Nepal’s fragile health system and resulting in shortage of hospital beds, intensive care units and critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and oxygen concentrators. Restrictive measures have been imposed in more than 63 districts and Kathmandu, while international and domestic flights will be suspended until at least 14 May. The Ministry of Health and Population has issued a statement saying the outbreak is already out of their control and hospitals are overwhelmed, and the Prime Minister has publicly requested for international assistance. The humanitarian system is scaling up the existing Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan to help meet both public health and secondary humanitarian needs in support of national efforts.²

MYANMAR

In northern Shan, armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and various ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) or amongst EAOs continue across a number of townships, resulting in population displacement and civilian casualties. In Kutkai Township, four civilians were injured on 4 May due to clashes between the MAF and the allied forces of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), according to local reports. Hostilities in the area reportedly damaged a number of houses and livestock, leaving those affected in need of shelter and livelihoods support. In Hsipaw Township, armed confrontations between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army and the TNLA displaced around 310 people between 2-3 May. Since January 2021, a total of 12,280 people have been internally displaced in at least nine townships across northern Shan. Almost half of them already returned to their places of origin; the other half is hosted in more than 30 sites, mainly in Hsipaw, Kyaukme and Namtu townships. Humanitarian actors are making all efforts to address the immediate needs of displaced families - which include shelter, basic household items, access to healthcare, water and sanitation and food - but access and insecurity continue to hinder these operations.³

PHILIPPINES

A total of 113,000 people have been displaced by clashes that have broken out since 18 March between the non-state armed group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Philippines military, with 50,000 people currently hosted in evacuation centers. In the latest incident, about 100 BIFF fighters occupied the public market of Datu Paglas town in Maguindanao province during an early morning raid on 8 May, setting up defensive positions while preventing vendors and civilians from leaving. As the military dispatched troops and assets to surrounding the area, local government authorities and community leaders were allowed to negotiate with the non-state armed group to avoid civilian casualties. Sporadic skirmishes were reported during the six-hour standoff, after which the BIFF fighters fled towards their marshland hideouts. Clearing operations by the military found improvised explosive devices planted in sites and vehicles around the occupied public market. There were no reported civilian casualties, but approximately 8,000 people were displaced during the occupation and security operations.4

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.