- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Humanitarian needs in Afghanistan continue to mount while financial resources to respond are declining, as reflected in funding to actions coordinated in the 2012 Consolidated Appeal (CAP) and contributions to the Emergency Response Fund. Funding shortfalls are most likely to affect internally displaced people (IDPs), chronically vulnerable people coping with the consequences of the harshest winter for 15 years, victims of sudden-onset and natural disasters, and communities exposed to communicable disease.
In the first five months of 2012, a combination of factors has worsened humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan and further increased vulnerability of Afghans. While the reported security incidents for the first quarter of the year showed a 40% decrease from 2011, the number of people displaced by conflict has continued to rise. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 86,360 people were displaced by conflict between January and April, representing a 5% increase compared to the same period in 2011, and a 45% increase compared to the first four months of 2010. This increase in displacement is the highest reported for any previous four-month period in the past decade, as recorded by UNHCR.
More than a third of Afghanistan‘s population has been displaced. Since 2002, 5.7 million Afghan refugees have returned, with mixed reintegration results. The current figure of about 400,000 recorded IDPs is viewed as a conservative estimate, as the collection of such information is limited by access constraints. The estimated five million documented and undocumented Afghans in Iran and Pakistan remain a population of concern as they face possible deportation back to Afghanistan, which would significantly impact the country.
Afghan civilians continue to withstand the worst of the conflict as civilian casualties reportedly escalated in 2011. According to the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 3,021 civilian deaths were documented in 2011, an increase of 8% from 2010 (2,790 civilian deaths) and 25% from 2009 (2,412 civilian deaths). However, in the first quarter of 2012, the human rights bodies reported a positive trend in that the number of reported civilian casualties in Afghanistan over the first quarter of 2012 had decreased by 21% compared to the same period in 2011. The 2011 global report on Children and Armed Conflict released by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in June 2012 highlighted that 1,756children were killed or injured in 2011 due to the conflict in Afghanistan, amounting to an average of 4.8 children killed or injured per day. (1,396 children were killed or injured in 2010.)
Attacks on educational personnel are a serious concern, including the killing of five and injuring of ten Department of Education staff in Paktika Province; the burning of schools in Badakshan Province; and the alleged poisoning of several hundred female and male students in Takhar, Khost and Ghazni Provinces since the beginning of 2012. Risks for humanitarian workers also remain high: 54 incidents of direct and indirect violence on aid workers, their assets and facilities were reported in 17 provinces across the country from January to May 2012.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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