Afghanistan + 3 more

UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific (RBAP): Flash External Update: Afghanistan Situation #10, As of 15 November 2021 (two-week period)

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Situation Report
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KEY DISPLACEMENT FIGURES

3.4M
Estimated internally displaced persons (IDPs) by conflict within Afghanistan as of 15 November 2021

667,903
Estimated total conflict induced IDPs within Afghanistan since 1 January 2021

72,377
Refugees and asylum-seekers in Afghanistan as of 2 November 2021

2.2M
Refugees and asylum-seekers from Afghanistan in neighboring countries as of 31 December 2020

68,330
Reported newly arrived Afghans in need of international protection to neighbouring countries since 1 January 20213

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The operational context in Afghanistan remained stable in the reporting period. Despite several security incidents caused by non-state actors in the country, UNHCR has been able to proceed with its humanitarian activities and protection programmes in nearly all provinces of Afghanistan.

  • Out of 667,900 people internally displaced (IDPs) in Afghanistan by conflict this year, an estimated 169,000 IDPs have returned to their previous places of origin since September, particularly as the security situation across the country has stabilized. Out of those who have returned, 36 per cent returned to Southern and 35 per cent to North Eastern regions, among others.

  • In the reporting period, UNHCR’s emergency response in Afghanistan was further scaled up, particularly ahead of the harsh winter season. UNHCR provided essential winter assistance to over 62,700 IDPs and persons in need, bringing the total to nearly 623,200 persons assisted since the start of this year. This assistance includes the following items and services:

  • UNHCR has ramped up its cash assistance to IDPs and vulnerable communities for several purposes, including cash for protection, rent, winterization assistance, livelihoods and reintegration upon return, with some 80,000 individuals receiving cash during the reporting period. This, for instance, included cash for the reintegration of nearly 1,700 IDPs who had been previously displaced to Kabul province. The returnees received some $400 per household to support them to reintegrate in their places of origin after returning.

  • During the reporting period, UNHCR was able to resume all its protection activities at the field-level, as access negotiations continued with the de facto authorities. The de facto authorities have recently authorized female humanitarian workers to resume work and UNHCR female staff have largely been able to return since. Despite this, female workers continue to face some challenges in several field locations, which UNHCR and the wider UN system is monitoring and following up with the de facto authorities, as required.

  • Considering this, UNHCR’s protection work was also scaled up in the reporting period. This included conducting household assessments to understand the needs of IDPs and other vulnerable individuals across the country, with UNHCR reaching more than 11,000 households in the reporting period, as well as providing psychosocial support to some 1,900 individuals in different provinces. UNHCR also received nearly 8,000 protection inquiries to its hotline, based on which advice, guidance and support are provided to individuals.

  • From the assessments and protection work, UNHCR has found that many participants – particularly women – are indicating the biggest challenges that they are facing is poverty and financial stress, with many reporting that they are without work. This corresponds with reports of the economic crisis across the country.