Afghanistan + 2 more

CrisisInSight Weekly Picks, 15 October 2020

News and Press Release
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Fighting between Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the Taliban broke out in Helmand province on 11 October. Some 35,000 people have been displaced and 200 killed. The displaced are in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, some of them living in the open air. Immediate needs include food, water, and temporary shelter. The fighting forced closure of nine health clinics, leaving 38,000 people without access to critical health services. The road between Kandahar and Lashkargah remains closed, substantially limiting humanitarian access. Conflict has continued, and even escalated, since the start of the intra-Afghan peace talks on 12 September. According to the Afghan government, between 30 September and 14 October, the Taliban carried out 575 attacks, killing or wounding 251 civilians. Seven provinces reported civilian injuries or deaths from improvised explosive devices during the week of 5 October.

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At least 10 million people (an increase of 4.4 million since April 2020) are at risk of contracting communicable diseases due to extensive flooding in Sudan since July. 10 million are vulnerable to waterborne diseases (e.g., cholera), and 4.5 million to vector-borne diseases (e.g., malaria). Large areas of stagnant water are providing ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes and increase the risk of vector-borne disease outbreaks. Malaria has reached epidemic levels in at least 11states. Some 30,000 latrines have collapsed country-wide, also increasing the potential of disease spread. The severe flooding has damaged thousands of health facilities and contaminated more than 30% of freshwater reserves across 13 states. As of 11 October, 63% of the population do not have access to basic sanitation and 40% lack access to potable water.

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On 8 October at least 156 wildfires were reported across Lattakia, Tartous, and Homs governorates. As of 11 October all fires have been contained, though some areas are at risk of reignition. Around 140,000 people were affected as home and assets including agricultural land were destroyed or damaged. The fires destroyed an estimated 5,000 hectares of agricultural land and 4,000 hectares of forested land. Power and water cuts were also reported, due to damaged electrical and water networks. 25,000 people are likely to be displaced. Some early returns have also been reported. Needs of the displaced include shelter and NFIs such as blankets, clothes, hygiene and dignity kits, as well as food assistance and WASH services. The fires caused evacuation of some hospitals and hampered access to healthcare. Hospitals lack the equipment needed to treat patients presenting with breathing problems.

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