While the implications of recent political developments on the Afghan people and humanitarian community are not yet clear, UNHCR echoes the UN Secretary-General’s calls for protection of all civilians and unimpeded humanitarian access. Urgent humanitarian support is also needed to address the increasing human suffering.
UNHCR – as part of the UN country team – remains committed to delivering protection and assistance to the Afghan people for as long as our staff are safe. The security of our staff remains a priority and UNHCR has put measures in place to ensure this.
UNHCR currently has some 200 staff in Afghanistan, working together with 18 partners consisting of some 900 staff through the country. While the security situation remains fluid, UNHCR and partners currently have access to all provinces and are operating in some two-thirds of all districts in the country. UNHCR has established contingencies to work through partners and remote arrangements should we be unable to reach locations of those in need.
In recent days in Kabul, UNHCR teams have been reviewing makeshift shelter arrangements for IDPs, including with a view to providing cash assistance, as well as providing support to a temporary health clinic and mobile health teams for IDPs, among other essential activities. UNHCR also continues its protection monitoring, which cover nearly all provinces in the country.
UNHCR has this year now provided food, shelter, cash, hygiene and sanitary kits and other lifesaving assistance, together with partners, to more than 230,000 people.
In recent days, UNHCR has been doing its utmost to respond to significant numbers of inquiries to our offices, either from people within Afghanistan or their relatives and friends. UNHCR Afghanistan’s Help page for refugees and asylum seekers has been launched in response. UNHCR has, or is in the process of, also setting up HELP sites for other countries affected and these will be on the global HELP Platform, once available.
UNHCR’s Supplementary appeal for the Afghanistan situation has been released and highlights nearly US$63 million as urgent needs to support the response for internally displaced people in the country, as well as preparedness in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. These requirements are part of the US$351 million requirements for UNHCR’s response to the Afghanistan situation in 2021, which is currently underfunded at some 43 per cent.