- KHOST & PAKTIKA UPDATE
During a refugee situation, nutrition, particularly among children and pregnant or lactating women, is a serious concern as people often must rely on food distributions and may have limited access to markets or livestock due to a lack of livelihoods. Children are more susceptible to the effects of malnutrition, which can impact their development and resistance to infectious diseases.
HealthNet TPO and IMC are providing nutrition services in Khost and Paktika to refugee and host community children and women through the health facilities.
However, there are areas in both provinces that are underserved due to insecurity, which limits access by health and humanitarian workers. As of now, there has not been a baseline survey to specifically evaluate the nutrition needs and gaps of the refugee population, or the impact that the refugee influx is having on the host community as food resources are stretched and agriculture production may be limited. A rapid nutrition needs assessment will be conducted in Gulan Camp in April, while a more thorough SMAT (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition) Nutrition survey is planned for the provinces later in the spring.
Since the beginning of the refugee influx, shelter has been an urgent need as identified by both refugees and host communities. During December there was a significant increase in the Gulan camp population as host communities could not support refugees as shelter and food were limited during the winter. In Gulan camp, UNHCR is conducting a shelter assessment; approximately 700 tents have been damaged with 350 totally destroyed, which were mostly located near the river beds. At the same time, shelter in the communities is an urgent priority. When the refugee influx began, many men were sleeping outside or under makeshift shelter while the women and girls were sleeping inside. UNHCR and partner agencies distributed winterization supplies to help wind-proof and weatherize existing shelter, however as temperatures began to drop there was secondary displacement to the camp. In Paktika, this is a concern as UNHCR is currently the only agency distributing tents and emergency shelter materials. To date, agencies have distributed tents to 14,798 families and tool kits and shelter winterization materials to 8,378 families in both provinces.