The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, with growing needs amongst internally displaced people (IDPs), other people struggling with the impact of conflict and natural disasters and communities exposed to communicable diseases coupled with challenges for some populations to access basic services.
The intensification of conflict is well documented.
The first quarter of 2013 saw a 47% increase in incidents initiated by anti-government elements (AGEs)relative to 2012. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded an increase in civilian casualties of 24% as of 6 June 2013 compared to 2012, with child casualties up 30%. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports 34,769 newly displaced people in 2013, bringing the number of conflict-induced displaced people to 570,705 as of 31 May. The prospects are that 2013 will become the second-most-violent year since 2001, with 2011 topping the list.
Over 120,000 people were affected by natural hazards between January and May with floods accounting for 43% and earthquakes 26%. These hazards resulted in 18,000 damaged or destroyed homes.
Security risks for the aid community remain high, as demonstrated by the 104 incidents of violence against humanitarian personnel, assets and facilities recorded up to 31 May across 21 provinces. Twelve aid workers were killed, 22 injured, 26 abducted and 19 arrested and detained. The May 2013 attacks on the offices of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Kabul and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jalalabad underline the dangers faced by humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan. In light of increased security risks expected in this ‘fighting season’ and associated humanitarian needs, more attention is needed by aid organizations on strengthening their humanitarian profile and focusing on how to stay and deliver as opposed to when to leave Afghanistan.
Increased conflict, seasonal flooding and earthquakes were the main drivers of the humanitarian response for the first six months of the year. Clusters that have made good progress towards their 2013 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) objectives in terms of percentage of their targeted populations reached include: Protection Cluster including mine action (78%); Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) (69%); Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items (43%); and Health (42%). Clusters/sectors that have achieved less than 25% of their objectives are:
Aviation (19%); Nutrition (19%); and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (17%). Clusters that have achieved less than 10% of their objectives are: Multi-Sector Response for Refugee Returnees
and Undocumented Afghans (7%) and Education (5%). This low progress for the Multi-Sector Response Cluster is not surprising because the return of Afghan refugees is usually low in winter months and picks up from May to November. Therefore, the peak in assisting returnees with multi-sector assistance usually starts in May. For the Education Cluster, an additional 74,000 people were reached under an objective that is no longer included for cluster response as it was deemed too developmental-focused and applicable until May 2013.
Main changes to the response include increased funding requirements under coordination for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to support the establishment of a Common Humanitarian Fund and Nutrition for the coverage of seven additional provinces; a decreased funding request for Education from revised objectives and scope of operations; and an increase in severely food-insecure people targeted for FSAC interventions based on a daily kilocalorie intake of less than 1,800 and suffering from hunger because of transitory or repeated shocks.
The Mid-Year Review of the 2013 CHAP maintains the four strategic objectives identified for humanitarian action with environment, gender and resilience as cross-cutting issues for integration within preparedness and response activities. The four strategic objectives are:
Reinforce the protection of civilians.
Reduce mortality and morbidity.
Assist the displaced, returnees and host communities.
Restore the livelihoods for the most vulnerable.
Since the introduction of a project-less CHAP, considerable efforts have been made by OCHAAfghanistan and the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) in Geneva to work with donors, UN agencies, IOM and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to track humanitarian funding and examine their projects degree of alignment with the objectives of the appeal and cluster response plans. As of 20 June, overall humanitarian funding for Afghanistan is US$387 million . The 2013 CHAP is 55% ($262 million) funded against the $474 million requirement for emergency preparedness and response activities by the United Nations (UN), IOM and NGOs. Other humanitarian funding reported on FTS amounts to $125 million that includes resources of $67.7 million for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement who have their own strategy and appeals process. The ratio of CHAP-aligned funding to non-CHAP-aligned funding is therefore 68% CHAP-aligned vs. 32% not-aligned. This ratio of CHAP-aligned funding is somewhat lower than average among CAPs (the 2013 average worldwide is currently about 82%), but it is much better than last year’s ratio in Afghanistan which was the reverse of this year—43% CHAP-aligned vs. 57% not-aligned. These figures would suggest that the move away from a project-based CAP may have improved the alignment of humanitarian funding with the CHAP and has had no adverse impact on the levels of funding.
The revised requirement for the 2013 CHAP Mid-Year Review is $474 million.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.