UNICEF Afghanistan Humanitarian Situation Report (01 July – 30 September 2019)

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 30 Sep 2019

Situation in Numbers
3,800,000
children in need of humanitarian assistance
6,300,000
people in need
(HNO & HRP, 2019)
282,800
Internally displaced people (IDPs) OR refugees
367,600
# of unregistered refugees
(UNHCR, September 2019)

Highlights

• Since the beginning of the year, 140 schools were documented closed due to insecurity, military use, fear of attack during armed operation and ground engagement, depriving 55,486 children from education. During the Presidential Election in September 2019, the use of nearly 4,600 educational and 140 health facilities as polling centers increased their vulnerability and 55 health care facilities damaged between July and September 2019, depriving children and women from life-saving maternal and child health services.

• As of September 2019, the HAC appeal is only 46 per cent funded against a request of US$50 million. Education, Health and Child Protection programmes are underfunded by more than 80 per cent preventing access to basic social services.

• UNICEF is applying a revised treatment approach for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) with reduced dosage of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in five high burden provinces to mitigate risk of national stock out of RUTF due to limited funding.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF appeals for US$50 million to sustain provision of life-saving services for children and women in Afghanistan. In 2019, ECHO, Italian National Committee for UNICEF, Government of Korea, USAID, Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF) and CERF have generously contributed to UNICEF Afghanistan’s humanitarian response. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all donors for the contributions received. However, the 2019 HAC still has a 54 per cent funding gap with Education, Health and Child Protection being the most unfunded sectors. UNICEF has reprogrammed US$1.3 million health funds from regular resources to cover for emergency activities which has delayed the regular health programme intervention on system strengthening and resilience building of health system to cope with future emergencies. Without sufficient funding, more than 158,000 children will be deprived of SAM treatment; 100,000 children, particularly girls, will not have access to education; over 45,000 survivors of various child protection concerns will not receive needed psychosocial support; and more than 100,000 children will not receive warm clothes required to cope during the harsh winter season starting in November. UNICEF has received an internal loan of US$3.5 million from UNICEF Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS) to meet life-saving nutrition needs.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Increasing trends of security incidents, internal displacements, poverty, food insecurity and natural disasters continue to drive humanitarian needs in Afghanistan. From 1 July to 30 September 2019, UNAMA documented 4,313 civilian casualties (1,174 deaths and 3,139 injured) which is the highest number of civilian casualties UNAMA has recorded in a single quarter since it began systematic documentation in 2009. Civilian casualty figures of this three-month period saw a 42 per cent increase compared to the same time period in 2018. The 2019 Presidential Election was held on 28 September, and more than 600 security incidents reported across the country. UNAMA’s preliminary figures indicate that attacks targeting the electoral process caused 458 civilian casualties (85 deaths and 373 injured) on polling day. Children made up more than a third of civilian casualties on election day, 55 children were injured while at home.

Until the end of September 2019, more than 282,000 people remained displaced across the country due to conflict and consequences of natural disasters. In addition, close to 367,000 people have returned from neighbouring countries to Afghanistan so far this year. The majority of these displaced families are living in temporary and poorly insulated shelters exposing them to health and other associated risks during the harsh winter season. The risk of acute respiratory infection is high during the winter season particularly among children due to indoor pollution as families burn wood to keep themselves warm. UNICEF and partners continue to provide life-saving humanitarian services to affected children and families, reaching 390,216 people (181,305 men and 208,911 women) between July and September 2019. However, rising insecurity and armed clashes are shrinking the humanitarian space and posing challenges to programme implementation, quality, monitoring and verification. In addition, inadequate funding at country level limits sectors response therefore undermining attainment of overall targeted results for 2019.