Afghanistan + 12 more

UNHCR Asia and the Pacific COVID-19 External Update (9 June 2021)

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Situation Report
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South-West Asia

Afghanistan

  • An estimated 14.1 million Afghans (more than one third of the population) are in critical levels of food insecurity. Food prices are already higher due to the pandemic and are likely to increase further given the impact the dry spell will have on crops. These factors, combined with COVID-19-related interruptions to informal employment and decreased remittances, are driving people into crippling debt.
    According to the multisectoral 2020 Whole of Afghanistan Assessment, paying for food was the primary reason that drove people into debt (53 per cent).

  • China has announced that it would donate 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Islamic Republic of Iran

  • UNHCR offices will identify vulnerable households affected by the pandemic and provide multipurpose cash assistance worth two months of minimum expenditure basket to meet their basic needs.
    An initial 2,000 households will be assisted in 2021.

  • Iran includes foreigners including refugees and undocumented Afghans in the national COVID-19 vaccination drive, and vaccination of refugees over age 70 in Saveh Settlement has begun. Similarly, in Khorasan Razavi province, vaccination of refugees commenced in selected health centres.
    Refugees over age 65 in Torbat-e-Jam settlement have also received their first dose.

Pakistan

  • The Afghan refugee population in Pakistan has been included in the national vaccination programme and over 44 refugees have been reported as having received the vaccine as of 4 June 2021.

  • Pakistan has successfully launched its locally produced single-dose CanSino COVID-19 vaccine with China’s support. Renamed “Pakvac”, the vaccine has been prepared at the state-run National Institute of Health Some 118,000 doses of the Pakvac vaccine have since been produced.

  • The Documentation Renewal and Information Verification Exercise (DRIVE) is ongoing but at reduced capacity (50%) due to the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases which resulted in lockdown in some areas as well as some positive cases identified among staff in.

  • The 2021 Pakistan Humanitarian Response plan, which incorporates COVID-19 related programs, was ‘soft launched’ on 12 May. The official launch is now planned for 9 June 2021.